Project visit in Bangladesh

In early June, DCKH Managing Director Andrea Weiberg visited our focus country Bangladesh to coordinate and further develop our many activities to treat patients with cleft lip and palate in the South Asian country. Our cleft care effort in Bangladesh began in 2010. From an initial 300 operations per year, the number increased steadily; in 2023, Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V. was able to make possible around 2000 operations for needy cleft lip and palate patients in Bangladesh. Thanks to our highly motivated local doctors and employees, the South Asian country has become our second largest project country after India in terms of number of surgeries.

Greetings from Dhaka

Andrea landed in Dhaka, where most of our surgeons work, and accompanied one of them on a surgical mission to the southeast of the country, to Cox’s Bazaar and Chittagong, to get an impression of the routine work. Our surgeons regularly do internships at hospitals across the country so that they can bring cleft lip and palate patients wherever they live.

At these locations in Bangladesh, cleft lip and palate operations funded by Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V. were performed in 2023:

It is a matter close to our hearts that people across the country have equal access to good treatment for their cleft lip and palate. The map above shows the cities in Bangladesh where our doctors have provided surgeries to cleft lip and palate patients in 2023.

An important topic of the visit was the initiation of speech therapy services for children with cleft palates after the palate was successfully closed through surgery, planned to begin this year. This is a great step forward for our efforts to help the cleft patients in Bangladesh live better lives. We are happy for the children and their families!

Our work in Bangladesh

Six specialized surgeons work for us in Bangladesh, providing our aid effort in the country with a broad, solid foundation. And the team is still growing: two years ago we set up a training program for young surgeons to be trained by our highly experienced team leaders to become specialists in cleft operations themselves. It is very important to us to pass on the invaluable technical and specialist knowledge of our surgeons in order to enable many children to receive cleft surgeries in the years to come, surgeries that are so critical for their future outlooks. The project is now bearing fruit: Dr. Masfiquer Rahman already successfully completed the program and has started his own team. Dr. Shantona Rani is currently still in training.

Andrea with some of our doctors: from left: Dr. Masum (cleft surgeon), Dr. Hassina (anesthetist), Andrea, Dr. Zaman (cleft surgeon).
Dr. Masfiquer, our newest surgeon.
Dr. Zaman and…
Dr. Hassina making preparations. The anesthesiologist is one of the most important experts in the safe conduct of an operation. She monitors the patients’ heartbeat and breathing with monitors like those in the background.
… Dr Masum have been working with us for many years.
Impressions from our surgeons’ cleft work during Andrea’s stay in Bangladesh.

Thank you for your support!

Without our donors, the work of our doctors to help cleft lip and palate patients in Bangladesh and our other project countries would not be possible. We thank all of our supporters from the bottom of our hearts!