For over 20 years, Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe has been treating children with cleft lip and palate in developing and emerging countries who would otherwise have no access to medical care. This help is vital: without treatment, those affected suffer from massive limitations in their everyday lives and face severely restricted prospects for their future.
One of the very first project countries after Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe was founded was India. Today, India is the country in which we perform the largest number of cleft operations each year (over 3,000 in 2022). As in all our project countries, the operations are carried out by local surgeons. Our aid in India is organized by our Indian partner NGO ABMSS. It is also responsible for evaluating the individual project locations.
Selection and testing of new project locations
Until now, we have had some two dozen project locations in India. These projects are generally organized around surgeons with the necessary specialization for lip and palate surgery and the hospitals where they work.
Now we are taking a big step forward in the number of these sites, and thus in our ability to help cleft children in India: over 30 potential new project sites have been identified at specialist conferences and online this year, with plastic and maxillofacial surgeons who already have experience in cleft lip and palate surgery and are willing to perform operations funded by our donors for children in need.
Eight of these potential candidates have now been selected. Some are university hospitals and some are private hospitals. The locations are spread across the country with the aim of helping cleft children in regions where we have not yet been able to do so.
Six-month pilot and test phase
The potential new locations are now undergoing a six-month pilot and test phase. If the collaboration works to our mutual satisfaction, they will become permanent project locations. We hope to be able to facilitate 200 additional operations at the new locations over the duration of the pilot phase.
We are overjoyed about this expansion of our help and for every additional family that now has access to qualified treatment for their child.