Who are we
Cleft Lip and Palate Association of Malaysia (CLAPAM) is a non-profit, non-government organisation and a support group consisting of volunteers from parents with children born with cleft lip and/or palate, adults with cleft lip and/or palate and healthcare professionals who manage such individuals. First established in 1992 and officially registered with the Registrar of Societies (R.O.S) in 1993, CLAPAM provides various support services including counselling, information on feeding and care of cleft babies, and hospital/house visits. CLAPAM also functions as a link between members and medical professionals.
CLAPAM’s mission is to educate and increase the awareness level of the public regarding the management of cleft individuals and cleft issues through our various activities whilst striving to be a one stop centre for cleft issues nationwide. CLAPAM also aims to be the link between parents who wish to seek medical assistance and the medical professionals.
Our activities include hospitals, clinics, and home visits to provide counselling and guidance on the correct feeding techniques for a cleft baby as proper feeding is essential to a baby’s growth and development. CLAPAM is a member of the Combined Cleft Clinic at University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC). We meet parents with cleft children and adults with cleft condition on the first Friday morning at UMMC and second Monday afternoon every month at UKMCC to further provide counselling and guidance sessions along with providing a link between parents and medical professionals.
We also conduct information sessions for members and health professionals through our Annual General Meetings and public forum/member get-together where medical professionals are invited to present special topics. Furthermore, CLAPAM attends medical conferences and participate in seminars and lectures to increase the awareness on cleft. We also publish and distribute leaflets on cleft for parents and medical professionals for the convenience of all parties and further increase the awareness and education level of cleft.
CLAPAM is a self-supporting body, relying on donations mainly from CLAPAM members, private corporations and members of the public. The funds received are channeled into the running of our office and helping less fortunate families with cleft children. CLAPAM strives to encourage more local support groups nationwide.
Volunteers offer moral support and feeding advice to parents of newborns with clefts. We supply special feeding bottles and teats. Our volunteers (usually parents of a child with a cleft themselves) aim to encourage new parents in the early days, extending hope to parents who may be in the state of depression and shock.
The combined knowledge and experience of our parent members in tackling cleft-related problems with their own children, together with the input from our professional members means that CLAPAM has access to reliable information on a wide variety of cleft related issues in addition to acting as a one stop centre for cleft issues in Malaysia. We stock a number of information booklets and leaflets on cleft. We also keep a list of healthcare professionals such as orthodontist, plastic surgeons and speech therapists nationwide to guide parents to the services available.