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ECO Country Projects

ECO works with identified local cleft teams and helps put in place referral networks to ensure that every baby born with a cleft, and their family, receives timely support and treatment by a specialist team that includes, in addition to surgery, nursing and psychosocial support, orthodontics and speech and language therapy.

European Guidelines Cleft Care

Early in 2015 ECO achieved its mission of developing a set of guidelines in early cleft care, agreed at a European level. Access to good treatment varies enormously throughout Europe, meaning that many children born with clefts are never given the opportunity to realise their full potential. Furthermore babies with clefts are still abandoned in some countries in Europe.

Partners in ERASMUS + European Union grants

ECO is delighted to be a partner in three Erasmus+ grant programmes. Face Value, When Looks Get in the Way and IHEM, a unique health intervention module. As a result of these partnerships exciting online training material is being developed focusing on the psychosocial issues around disfiguring conditions.


Our longest-running partnership has been with the cleft team in Plovdiv, Bulgaria where we have been working to reduce the number of babies born with clefts being sent to orphanages. A survey we conducted for UNICEF in 2009 showed that nearly 40 per cent of parents of children with clefts were advised to put their newborn in care – this advice in most cases came from health professionals.