About Us

Cleft Prevention International Foundation

Cleft Prevention International Foundation, Inc., (CPIF) is international NGO (ARTS-PB-501(c)(3) C3954486) with headquarters in San Francisco, USA. It is run by the Executive Leadership and Management Team. The Board of Directors consists of representatives from nine countries (including USA) and has the major voice in selecting directions, activities, and programs of CPIF. The Advisory Board is also formed by international representatives from different disciplines and fields, including medicine/dentistry, health care, business, education, NGO, and lay public.

The main purpose and goal of CPIF is to prevent cleft lip and palate anomalies – the second most common birth defects and the first and most serious anomalies of face and mouth that are affecting about 230,000 newborns worldwide every year. These anomalies are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is enough scientific evidence that a significant proportion of these anomalies are preventable by modification of environmental factors, especially mother’s nutrition and lifestyle, and by periconceptional supplementation of folic acid and other vitamins and nutrients. Our research – published first in 1982 in very prestigious medical journal Lancet showed prevention of clefts in families where already this anomaly occurred. Since that time our studies and studies by others supported this. We strongly feel that we can share knowledge and experience for benefit of many.

Our mission is to decrease prevalence of cleft lip and palate anomalies worldwide by implementing cleft prevention programs.

There are several components of our program:

  1. Education regarding causes of cleft lip and palate anomalies and distribution of educational material on several levels – (1) professionals, (2) individuals affected with a cleft and their families, (3) general public
  2. Providing nutritional and lifestyle education to women and adolescent girls and distributing educational material
  3. Providing outreach and public information – public presentations, articles, printed material, access to social medial, TV, and radio
  4. Vocational training
  5. Collaborations with NGOs with similar interest and with experts, suppliers, organizations and agencies