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Duong, a cleft child from Vietnam

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Duong’s mother is blind. She works in a massage center, where she meets Duong’s father. It wasn’t until the fourth month that Duong’s mother realized she was pregnant. Her child, Duong, is born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. The father visits his son only once, then he breaks off contact and disappears.

Duong is raised by his mother and grandmother. The family is very poor. In Duong’s community, the neighbors collect food and clothing for Duong. A local government employee learns about Duong’s story and helps the family research treatment options online. This is how they get in touch with our partner organization OSCA in Hanoi. There, Duong was operated for the first time, when he was only ten months old. His cleft palate was closed in a second operation in March 2021.

We share Duong’s mother’s happiness that her son now has this obstacle cleared out of his way and can look forward to a much better future ahead of him. Many other children like Duong in Vietnam and our other project countries are still waiting for the surgery they need.

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Duong with his mother before…
… and after the first surgery.
Duong can now eat normally.
In the meantime, Duongs cleft palate has also been closed.
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It doesn’t cost much to change a child’s life for the better

The most important part of the treatment is the surgery. Performed by a skilled, qualified surgeon like our partners are, it makes children with a cleft lip look “normal” again. If there is also a cleft palate, at least one further operation is required. An untreated cleft palate has serious consequences: the children cannot eat and drink properly and speak with difficulty.

Cloud Cloud
Cloud Arrow Arrow Cloud Arrow Arrow Arrow A surgery, performed by skilled local surgeons, only costs 300 euros. Help with a donation and give a cleft child a chance to live a better life.

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.