Every year, some 250,000 children are born with a cleft lip and palate. Without treatment, cleft children suffer under their cleft for their entire life. Many die in the first year of their lives from neglect or hunger.
Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe (DCKH) has been working to help children with cleft lip and palate since 2002. In our project countries, many families cannot afford the care their children need. Therefore, we finance surgeries and other treatments these children need, giving them a chance at a better life. Our goal is to provide sustainable development aid. That’s why we always cooperate with local doctors to build structures to treat cleft in our partner countries.
Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is present in Asia, South and Central America and Africa. In 2019 we were active in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda, Tanzania and Vietnam. In these countries, we financed operations and, to varying degrees, additional therapies. We are running a small speech therapy project in Xi’an (China). In Costa Rica we started funding a cleft project.
Projects in Cameroon, Uganda and the Philippines were completed. In Tajikistan and Burundi we had to pause our work and are planning to resume it as soon as it becomes possible.
The treatments we can offer in our project countries vary depending on what medical infrastructures exist and how far our project has developed. There are locations where we can only offer basic surgeries. In other countries, we can offer a full comprehensive cleft treatment with many types of followup therapies. Other projects lie in between.