Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe in Pakistan
In Pakistan, some 9,000 children are born with cleft lip and palate each year. Only about half of these children receive surgery. Although there are some plastic surgeons in Pakistan, only a few operate cleft lip and palate. Most lack the expertise. In addition, the treatment of a child - if it comes from a poor background - is not very lucrative. The children then often do not even get a place in the public hospitals.
Our project in Pakistan is based in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province. With some 21 million inhabitants (source: metropolen-der-zukunft.com), Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan and one of the largest cities in the world. In order to also help the many children with cleft malformation outside of Karachi, our Pakistani team regularly conducts surgical missions in the surrounding areas.
With a project start date in 2013, Pakistan is one of our more recent projects. The project's development since then has been excellent. In late 2020, we launched a BMZ-funded project to establish an interdisciplinary cleft center in Karachi. The overarching goal of the three-year grant is to improve the social integration of the children treated by our team.
Key areas of our work in Pakistan
In 2022, we provided 1,397 surgeries in Pakistan - nearly 400 more than in 2021, making Pakistan one of our top three countries by number of surgeries, along with India and Bangladesh.
Prof. Ganatra, who has led our project in Pakistan since 2016, is committed to raising awareness for our aid work in Pakistan. He lectures at universities and is active in education. Through broad-based awareness campaigns, we provide information about our cleft project in Karachi and communicate the regular surgery missions to the hospitals in the surrounding areas. After the surgery, social workers maintain contact with the families, answer their questions and remind them of follow-up appointments.
Comprehensive cleft therapy
Under the umbrella of "Cleft Pakistan," Prof. Ganatra and his team offer all disciplines relevant to the treatment of cleft lip and palate: Surgery, Pediatrics, Speech Therapy, Psychosocial Care, ENT, Dentistry and Orthodontics.