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Valuable exchange of experiences at this year’s partner meeting in India

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After a two-year pandemic break, our partner meeting in India was finally able to take place again in June. The country is our largest project location and regular exchange with our local partners is very important to us. The administrative headquarters of our partner organization ABMSS is in Bangalore, where the workshop also took place. Last year we facilitated more than 3,200 surgeries for cleft children at more than 20 locations in India.

Our local network is extensive: over 150 doctors, nurses and other committed people work hand in hand here. To enable a constant exchange of knowledge and good networking, we organize a workshop once a year, to which the treatment teams travel from all corners of the country. A lively meeting with lectures, discussions, and valuable exchange of experiences.

We were particularly pleased about the lecture given by our guest of honour, Prof. Dr. Dr. Dr. Robert Sader, Director of the Clinic for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Center for Surgery at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. “Dr. Robert” gave his Indian colleagues i.a. an insight into the concept of the “all-in-one procedure”, in which the closure of the cleft palate and lip is performed in one operation. We thank Prof. Sader for the exciting exchange.

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Anniversary celebrations

There was also something very special to celebrate at this year’s meeting in India: Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is turning 20! The partner meeting ended with a festive dinner, accompanied by music and dancing.

What remains is a strengthened team spirit, new insights, and the common goal of enabling many more patients with cleft lip and palate comprehensive treatment. We would like to thank our Indian partners very much for their commitment to children with cleft lip and palate! We are so proud of our network in India, which has grown steadily over the past few years.

For those present from Freiburg, our managing director Andrea Weiberg, our project coordinator Stefan Rivald, our chairman and founding member Alexander Gross and our partners from India, the event was a very enriching experience!

From our projects
The story of Maui, cleft child from Colombia
Our new project to help children with cleft lip and palate in Colombia begins with a very unusual case. Maui was born with a cleft lip and palate. His parents belong to an indigenous people and do not know how to get him the help he needs. By a happy coincidence, Julia, a Swiss woman living in Colombia, is a neighbor of the family and offers to help. In search of treatment options, she comes across Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe.
Video: 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.