Home > News > Cleft Nurses in Bulgaria

ECO has just participated in a review meeting of the Bulgarian cleft nurse network in Plovdiv 18-19 January 2019. The network of 15 nurses is a unique resource developed by ECO and the Bulgarian parent association ALA to support new families with children born with clefts. Shockingly, some doctors are still advising parents of new babies with clefts to put them in care, largely because of concerns around feeding. The nurse network was set up to stop this happening and, crucially, to ensure that babies with complex cleft-related breathing difficulties are safe. The network was initially funded by contributions from ECO and ALA but we are delighted that US-based Smile Train has taken an interest in this initiative and has committed to fund the network. Shannon Lambert from Smile Train accompanied Gareth Davies from ECO at the review meeting in Plovdiv and was highly impressed by the level of training provided for the nurses and the real commitment to deliver expert support to parents when it is most needed. ALA is one of the partners of an EU project coordinated by ECO developing a short course on early cleft care – you can read more about the Early Care Training Programme here www.ceftectp.com. This course in turn has been developed from our early cleft care guidelines approved by the European Committee for Standardisation in Brussels (CEN) and downloadable here http://europeancleft.org/download-guidelines/

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