Infrastructure needs for HSF

Professional workforce: There is need to increase awareness of the dental needs of cleft lip and/or palate patients via education, practice and research. Researchers, educators and practitioners should have a broad mix of skills to resolve the challenge presented by cleft lip, cleft palate, and craniofacial anomalies in India. Underrepresented minority dentists play an important role increasing awareness as they have better access to under-served and minority populations. They also influence other health professionals to be culturally more sensitive and serve as powerful role models. Sustained efforts, new partnerships, and innovative and flexible programmes are needed to ensure a competent, diverse and robust workforce for research.

Strengthen the research: There is need to strengthen research initiative with the aim at establishing baseline standards of cleft care in India and to assist HSF Centres to take part in clinical research. This will address the challenge of birth defects and craniofacial anomalies in India. Ultimately the research will improve quality of cleft care in India in the future. Research strategies have to address the significant burden of craniofacial anomalies in India. This can be carried out in dental schools, different components of academic health centres, hospitals and independent research institutions. The dental schools are important to conduct research and train the future researchers. These are vital for the future of clinical and applied oral health research.

Platform creation for united efforts: It is vital to form a multilateral and an inclusive research platform that allows activities and inputs from professionals from diverse backgrounds for compilation and maximization of efforts and outcomes. This will help in utilizing media and communication for transforming research into practical benefits for the common man. IDA realizes the need for a platform for enhancing skills and techniques, in addition to learning the latest treatments for craniofacial patient care. Developing inter-disciplinary teams consisting of surgeons, orthodontists, genetists, speech pathologists and other experts is needed with cutting edge education, training, continuing education, research and know-how’s in craniofacial and cleft surgery through data sharing.

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