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Despite Corona: Aid for cleft children in Pakistan

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Even in times of the pandemic, we are there for our little patients and their families. Our philosophy of building independently functioning structures in our project countries has proven to be a great advantage. Many aid organizations work with foreign teams. They had to largely stop their aid in 2020 due to the difficulty of planning missions stemming from the disruption of global travel. Thanks to our reliance on local doctors, we were able to continue our work for cleft children.

Pakistan is one of our most important project countries. Prof. Ganatra has been heading our aid project since 2016. He treats cleft children in Karachi. Usually he also conducts regular surgery missions to rural areas to treat cleft patients there. This unfortunately is currently not yet possible again. But the work in Karachi continues. Thanks to a new anti-infection concept, Prof. Ganatra and his team can regularly operate cleft children. He has sent us some impressions from one of his Saturday surgery days. Seven children were treated on January 9th. A great joy for the mothers, whose children now can live a life free of the health effects of untreated cleft. Treating these children is a glimmer of hope for them, their families, and us, and a great note to start the new year on.

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Prof. Ganatra with one of his little patients
January 2021: seven mothers with their children during patient registration
One of our patients with their mother.
A small surgery that greatly improves a child’s life and lifts a worry off a family’s shoulders.
A surprised face
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.