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Aid for cleft children in South Asia

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Facts about Pakistan
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Pakistan is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. Some 230 million people lived in Pakistan in 2019.
The focus region of our aid in Pakistan is the province of Sindh. Around 50 million people live there in an area twice the size of Bavaria. The capital is Karachi with approximately 20 million inhabitants.
With approximately five million births in 2019 and based on a case rate of 1: 500, approximately 10,000 children with cleft lip and palate are born in Pakistan every year.
We have already enabled more than 3,000 cleft patients to have surgery in the six years we have been working in Pakistan.
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Our work in Pakistan

In Pakistan there is one child with cleft lip and palate for every 500 births. With more than five million births in 2019, that’s around 10,000 new “cases” per year. Only about half of the children receive surgery. There are some plastic surgeons in Pakistan, but only a few operate cleft lip and palate. Most of them lack the know-how. In addition, the treatment of a child from a poor background is not very lucrative. The children then often are not accepted at the public hospitals.

Our project in Pakistan is based in Karachi, the capital of the province of Sindh. With its approximately 20 million inhabitants, Karachi is one of the largest cities in the world. The province of Sindh is located in southern Pakistan, adjacent to India and the Arabian Sea. Outside the metropolis of Karachi, life is rural. The rural population is very poor. We provide information about our aid project on site through broad-based awareness-raising campaigns and communicate the regular operations in Karachi and various provincial hospitals in the surrounding area.

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Our partners in Pakistan

We have been active in Pakistan since 2013. After a few years of development, we were able to make a big step forward in 2016 through a cooperation with Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Ganatra and the Al-Mustafa Welfare Society. The Al-Mustafa Welfare Society is one of the most renowned non-profit organizations in Pakistan. Since 1983, the society has been committed to providing low-income people with access to health care and education. The non-profit organization runs schools and various medical facilities. One of them is the Al-Mustafa Medical Center in Karachi.

In 2007, the organization initiated a cleft aid program under the direction of plastic surgeon Prof. Muhammad Ashraf Ganatra, who has extensive experience in treating children with cleft lip and palate. Prof. Ganatra operates up to 100 patients a month in and outside of Karachi. Dr. Ulrike Lamlé oversees our project on a voluntary basis.

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Professor Ganatra with a little patient.
This child’s mother is happy.
A very young patient before surgery.
Professor Ganatra explaining the treatment to a patient’s father.
Nine-year-old Perwaiz with his brothers…
… and with DCKH volunteer country manager Ulrike Lamlé.
Professor Ganatra with his team.
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Our work in Pakistan
The main focus of our aid in Pakistan is on providing patients with the necessary surgeries. Prof. Ganatra operates in the Al Mustafa Medical Center in Karachi and in various hospitals in the province of Sindh. Up to 100 patients a month are treated by Prof. Ganatra.
Awareness work
Our awareness raising efforts in Pakistan are broad. Different media are used: from radio to TV, advertisements in the local press or social media. Prof. Ganatra visits schools, universities and mosques to draw our attention to our offer of help.
Comprehensive care
After the operation, Prof. Ganatra’s patients in Karachi can already occasionally be offered followup treatments such as speech therapy and orthodontics. An expansion of these interdisciplinary structures in Pakistan is planned.
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Your donation for cleft children in Pakistan

Between the beginning of the project in 2013 and 2019, we enabled almost 3,500 operations. Many more children in Pakistan are still waiting for their operation. They need your help. Please support our aid work with your donation.

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Country portrait: Pakistan

It was not until 1947 that Pakistan was separated from India. The aim was to found an independent state for the Muslim Indians. A new state was created with the four provinces Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa as well as the capital territory of Islamabad. Pakistan also controls the Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir areas on the Pakistani-administered side of Kashmir. This situation still leads to conflicts between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan is located on the Arabian Sea, with over 1,000 kilometers of coastline. The country in South Asia borders Iran, Afghanistan, China and India. The north of the country is crossed by the three highest mountain ranges on earth: the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush and the Karakoram. Five of the 14 eight-thousanders in the world are in the territory of Pakistan. The K2 in the Karakoram is the highest mountain in Pakistan at 8,611 meters.
796,100 km²
Official languages
Urdu, English
Predominant religion
Pakistani Rupee

Even though the security situation in Pakistan has improved in recent years, the threat of political or religious extremism remains a key problem. Religious minorities in the country, particularly Christians and Hindus, are particularly affected.