Miss Universe 2018 in Kenya creating cleft-lip awareness

By Kirsten Kanja | 3 months ago
Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray. [Courtesy]

Renowned beauty queen, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray is in Kenya promoting awareness about cleft-lip care and correction.

The Filipino-Australian model landed in the country on October 11, accompanied by her boyfriend, actor Samuel Milby.

Gray is part of a global cleft charity, Smile Train, which empowers medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and cleft care to children globally.


“It doesn’t matter the culture, or the language that you speak; the care that people give to individuals in need is still the same. To be able to give that care to cleft patients and seeing how it transforms not just one life or their physical appearance, but their whole family and community is really something special,” she said.

Shedding light on the activities of the charity organisation, Gray noted that one of the key messages she hopes to pass across is that cleft care is out there, free and available.

The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, describes the cleft lip as a defect that occurs when tissues that make up the lip do not form completely before birth.

“This results in an opening in the upper lip. The opening in the lip can be a small slit or it can be a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip or in the middle of the lip, which occurs very rarely. Children with a cleft lip also can have a cleft palate,” the CDC’s 2020 report reads.

Smile Train, through its website, describes its approach and model as locating children in need, empowering local medical professionals and providing cleft care, including speech therapy, emotional support and orthodontic care.

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