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Aid for cleft children

in India
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India country facts
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Over a million girls and boys die before their fifth birthday each year in India. In absolute numbers, this is the highest child mortality worldwide.
Every year around 40,000 children in India are born with cleft lip and palate. Many families cannot afford the treatment these children need.
Around 80 percent of the Indian population has no health insurance and therefore no reliable access to medical care.
More than 30,000 operations since 2003 are the result of our aid in India. In four cleft centers, the children receive interdisciplinary care beyond cleft surgery.
Our work in India is based on a strong network of dedicated workers: around 150 doctors, nurses, therapists and project staff are committed to ensuring that cleft children have a chance in life.
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Our work in India

We have been active in India since 2003. India is our largest project country today. In 2019, almost 2,800 operations were carried out. Currently we are represented at 31 locations across India: Agra, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Bengaluru, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Cuttack, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad (3 projects), Jodhpur, Katra, Kolkata, Mangalore (2 projects), Mumbai (2 projects), Mysuru, Nagpur, Pandharpur, Patnam Pune, Raipur, Sangli, Surat, Tirupati, Varanasi, Vishakapatnam (2 projects). At six of these locations, we offer comprehensive cleft therapy in addition to surgery.

With an estimated 40,000 children born with cleft lip and palate in India each year and the many untreated cases, the unmet need for help for cleft patients is high. Despite the economic growth and rapid development of large cities, the situation of the rural population remains unchanged. Of the approximately 1.4 billion Indians, around 900 million live in the simplest of circumstances and in great poverty. The situation of women and girls is particularly deplorable.

Only long-term, sustainable aid that invests in the establishment of independently viable local structures can bring about change here. This requires committed and reliable local partners, perseverance – and the support of many colleagues.

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Our partners in India

Since 2013 our work in India has been organized by our partner organization ABMSS (Akhila Bharatha Mahila Seva Samaja), based in Bengaluru. ABMSS is the contact for the doctors and their teams at our 32 treatment centers. We introduce some of them here:

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Cleft Center Bengaluru, Dr. Jayanth
Cleft center Mysuru, Dr. Manu
Cleft center Kolkata, Dr. Siddhartha
Cleft center Hyderabad, Dr. Vijay
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Priorities of our work in India
Comprehensive care
“Comprehensive Cleft Care” is the term used in India for comprehensive cleft therapy. In addition to various surgical interventions, this includes speech and functional therapy, ear, nose and throat medicine, orthodontics, dentistry and psychotherapy. In Agra, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mysore and Nagpur we are pursuing this holistic therapeutic approach, which requires the involvement of the parents and thus close contact with the families concerned.
Awareness work
Especially in the rural regions of India, those affected often do not know anything about the causes and treatment options for cleft. The aim is to raise awareness of the topic by means of a broad educational work and to draw attention to our offer of help. Particularly important in this context are the recruitment of multipliers, e.g. employees of hospitals and schools, as well as directly addressing the population.
Nutrition programs
Good health and weight are prerequisites for safe surgery. Many cleft children in India are malnourished. They are more susceptible to infections and their development is often delayed. It is not uncommon for us to meet children who cannot walk at the age of 1.5. We provide special food before and after the operation to help these children. Another target group of our nutrition programs are the children’s mothers.
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Your donation for cleft children in India

The plight of the Indians with cleft is great, particularly in the many rural regions. Children with a cleft lip and palate have little chance of growing up normally. The operation is a first step towards a better life. Please help cleft children in India with your donation!

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Country portrait India

Modern Europeans were made aware of India in 1498 by the Portuguese seafarer Vasco da Gama. British colonial rule in India began around 1600. In 1858, India officially became part of the British Empire, under Queen Victoria as Empress of India. Pakistan and Bangladesh were then also part of the Indian Empire. It was Mahatma Gandhi who led India to independence in 1947 with non-violent resistance. The Indian subcontinent was divided, two independent states emerged: Muslim Pakistan and India, which is predominantly inhabited by Hindus. On January 30, 1948, a radical Hindu murdered Mahatma Gandhi, who was committed to peace between religions throughout his life.

The name of India is derived from the Indus River, which is the longest river in India at 3,180 kilometers in length. Even better known than the Indus is India’s second largest river, the Ganges, which the Indians worship as a sacred river. The Himalayan Mountains in northern India are considered the seat of the gods. India borders Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh.
3,287,259.07 km²
Official languages
Hindi, English
Predominant religion
Indian Rupee
New Delhi

Despite its recent economic growth, India remains a developing country. Around 80 percent of Indians have less than two dollars a day to live on, a third even less than one dollar. This is especially true for the almost 900 million Indians who live in rural areas.