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Project visit Peru February 2024

We have been helping children with cleft lip and palate in Peru since 2006. Our partner in Peru is the surgeon Dr. Alberto Bardales, a very experienced surgeon. Over the years, Dr. Bardales and Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe have managed to provide almost 5,000 cleft surgeries to patients in Peru – thanks to our donors! For our patients, these surgeries are a huge step towards a “normal” life without functional impairments hampering them in their everyday lives.

Dr Bardales with a patient during a mission to Cajamarca.

Dr. Bardales is based im the capital Lima, but also regularly travels to provincial capitals such as Cusco and Ayaviri to treat patients in hospitals there. As Peru is sparsely populated – less than half as many people as in Germany live in an area three times the size – and the distances are great, these trips are necessary in order to be able to treat patients throughout the country who would perhaps find it difficult to afford a trip to the capital.

On one of these trips in February 2024 to Azangaro, Peru, Dr. Bardales was accompanied by the German surgeon Dr. Ulrike Lamlé, who has been supporting us on a voluntary basis for many years. Read her report here:

Impressions from the work in Azangaro

“It took me eight hours of travel from Cuzco through wonderful Andean landscapes until I arrived in Azangaro, a small town in the province of Puno, 50 km from Lake Titicaca. Azangaro is the birthplace of our Peruvian surgeon Dr. Alberto Bardales, so of course we were given a particularly warm welcome there.

The previous day, Alberto and his team had already examined and accepted a large number of children for surgery. There were many new cases that came from all over to this small Andean town, but also many children who had already undergone surgery elsewhere but whose results were not so good and who still have hope of looking completely normal at some point.

The next day we were welcomed by the mayor of Azangaro, who is also the local priest. He gave a nice speech and thanked Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe!

Operating one child after another all day long while standing up and with total concentration, and caring for the many patients with the small team was a hard day of work for everyone.

We were dead tired in the evening, but still happy to have helped 18 children lead a normal life.”

Spectacular views sweeten the eight-hour journey through the Andes.
This little girl has the surgery for her bilateral cleft lip successfully behind her.