In many regions of Indonesia, help for cleft children is not available. The people living on the smaller Indonesian islands often have to make do with a poorly developed infrastructure, and there often is a lack of medical care. Many families cannot afford to travel long distances to the nearest hospital. During our missions in Indonesia, we often come across older cleft children who have never been treated.
In recent years, we have focused on treating cleft children in the province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), part of the Little Sunda Islands in eastern Indonesia. Compared to other regions in Indonesia, more children are born with cleft lip and palate there. We have visited the islands of Flores and Timor, with missions in Wolowaru, Labuan Bajo, Ende (Flores) and Atambua, Kupang and Kefa (Timor). At the beginning of this year, the first assignment took place in Serang, the capital of the West Javanese province of Banten.
Since 2020, our project in Indonesia has been hit hard by the travel restrictions imposed to fight Covid. Just before the start of the restrictions, we luckily managed a last mission to Serang, the capital of the West Javan province of Banten. 19 cleft children were treated on this mission.
The RSUD Dr Saiful Anwar Hospital has been a partner of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe in the effort to help cleft children in Indonesia since 2014 and is represented by Prof. Bambang Pardjianto. Malang is a major city on the Indonesian main island of Java. The Malang hospital is very renowned and has an excellent department for the treatment of cleft patients.
Project manager on part of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is Dr. Ulrike Lamle. She is the medical contact for Prof. Pardijanto and has accompanied him on his surgery missions. Ulrike Lamlé lived in Java for several years and speaks Indonesian.
We want to continue to help poor cleft children in the many remote island regions of Indonesia. We need your support so that we can continue our work.
Despite its economic success in recent years, the imbalance between rich and poor in Indonesia is huge. There are clear regional differences. While the main island of Java, as Indonesia’s political and economic center, is well developed, other islands have been neglected. Children are particularly hard hit, and many cannot go to school because theit parents cannot afford the school uniform and material. Or because the nearest school is miles away from their home, too far for the children to travel.
Due to its geology, Indonesia frequently suffers earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.