New center for cleft lip and palate treatment in Nepal

On April 30, 2024, our first project to treat children with cleft lip and cleft palate in Nepal was ceremoniously opened in the presence of our managing director Andrea Weiberg.

After two years of planning in close collaboration between the partners, the Cleft and Craniofacial Center at Dhulikhel Hospital will now be a well-equipped center for cleft patients. Along with DCKH, the partners are the Australian organization SmileHigh Foundation and the Dhulikhel Hospital. Beyond the operations, other treatments such as orthodontics and dentistry should also be made available to children in need.

30 million people live in Nepal, located between India and China. The landscape of the South Asian country is heavily influenced by the Himalayas: seven of the ten highest mountains in the world are in Nepal. The mountains are raised by the collision of two tectonic plates, which puts the country at high risk of earthquakes. In 2015 there was a catastrophic earthquake with 9,000 dead. The mountainous landscape also makes road construction and thus the economic development of the country more difficult.

Despite recent strong economic growth, Nepal is still one of the poorest countries in Asia. The country continues to have problems establishing adequate health care, especially in rural regions. There are only 3.49 nurses and midwives per 1,000 inhabitants; Germany has almost four times as many. Some 20 children are born per 1,000 inhabitants in Nepal every year. We assume that there are 1.64 cleft lip and palate per 1000 births 1000 cases per year.

Our partners in Nepal

Our partner hospital, Dhulikhel Hospital, is a teaching hospital of Kathmandu University with many students and very good facilities. The project manager at the Cleft CraniofacialCenter is Dr. Chandan Upadhyaya. He has a very committed young team at his side. The Dhulikhel Hospital, a good hour’s drive from the capital Kathmandu, has 475 beds and 300 doctors. It offers medical students a training infrastructure with a focus on gynecology, obstetrics and pediatric intensive care as well as gastroenterology and endoscopy.

We look forward to working with our Nepali partners!

International cooperation for children with cleft lip and palate

The team in Dhulikhel provides cleft surgeries, dental and orthodontic treatments to local patients. In the first year, 100 cleft lip and palate operations are planned. When setting up and developing the project, we made use of synergies and expertise from our focus projects in other countries in the region such as India and Bangladesh. The inauguration of the project was attended by Dushyant Prasad, the head of our Indian partner organization ABMSS, and Safowan Bakee, manager of our project in Bangladesh, on site.

Our managing director Andrea Weiberg is pleased:

A short, productive trip that left room for exchange with our partners from India and Bangladesh in addition to getting to know our new partners in Nepal.

The first three operations supported by us were carried out in April. We hope to be able to make 100 important cleft lip and palate possible in the first year of our work in Nepal, carried out by the dedicated Nepalese team and financed by our donors.