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A family’s dramatic fate

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Ramjan Ali Mola was disfigured by his cleft lip for 24 years. He got teased a lot as a child. And even as an adult, he has to endure mockery every day. He lives in seclusion with his wife in Howrah, West Bengal. Two days after Ramjan’s 24th birthday, Tasmina, the third child of the young couple, is born – with a cleft lip! Like Ramjan’s parents, the couple take their daughter’s malformation as a cruel, unchangeable fate.

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A family with a history of cleft
Ramyan after surgery
Tasmina after surgery
This is where their new lives began!
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A new perspective in life for the entire family

It is fortunate that a short time later a project employee from our treatment center in Kolkata happens to meet the family during an awareness campaign. He explains to them that Ramjan and Tasmina’s lips can be treated. And that the operations for the family of five, whom Ramjam supports with his wages as a carpet-maker, are even free of charge. Both father and daughter are operated on by Dr Siddhartha Chatterjee. Ramjan is hardly recognizable, and soon there will be only a small scar visible on Tasmina. With 500 euros, the price for the two operations, we, thanks to our donors, were able to change the lives of two people and give an entire family a new outlook in life!

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Impressions from Bolivia
The parents of our cleft children are always full of gratitude. When their child is born with cleft, they often do not know what to make of the malformation, much less that it can be treated. And even if they do - most of our little patients come from the poorest of backgrounds. Their parents could never afford the operation. It is an unimaginable happiness for them to learn that their children can receive qualified treatment, and free of charge even. This wonderful, touching film from our Bolivian aid project captures these special moments of happiness.
Video: Impressions from Pakistan
This film, made for our Pakistani partner organization, the Al-Mustafa Welfare Societey, by the father of one of our patients, shows scenes from our work in Karachi. From here, our senior surgeon Prof. Ashraf Ganatra treats cleft children from poorest families. He operates the children from Karachi at the Al Mustafa Medical Center. In order to reach the many needy families living outside the city, he also regularly heads out to local provincial hospitals to treat cleft patients there.
The story of Dat from Vietnam
As a baby, Dat fell victim to an unqualified surgery. Probably inexperienced doctors severed important arteries during his palate surgery in Vietnam. The result: a large hole in the palate that massively affects the boy's life. We brought him to Germany to get reconstructive surgery. An individual case that due to the financial and human cost must remain an exception. In this video, we want to draw attention to the risks of "safari surgery" as opposed to sustainable development aid.