Since 2018 we have been funding a speech therapy project in Xi’an, capital of the central Chinese province of Shaanxi.
Up until a few years ago, many cleft children in the countryside were abandoned by their parents and are now being raised in orphanages. In the meantime, the surgical treatment of cleft lip and palate in China has improved, also with regard to the government’s assumption of treatment costs. Follow-up treatment however rarely takes place. Children from poor backgrounds in particular are usually denied access. A particularly important therapeutic measure for cleft children is speech therapy, which improves the oral motor function and articulation that are impaired by the cleft.
Like our projects in Vietnam, the project in Xi’an is another joint project with the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation from Taiwan. The project location is the university hospital in Xi’an. The local partner is the speech therapist Dr. Ma. Originally a surgeon, she has been dedicated to the speech therapy treatment of children with cleft lip and palate for a number of years.
The project in Xi’an was initiated by our volunteer project manager Dr. Ulrike Lamlé, who currently lives in Hong Kong.