The first aid mission of our Cleft Pakistan team to Khuzdar was attended by 200 patients with cleft lip and palate. Khuzdar is located in the province of Balochistan, at an altitude of 1200 meters, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery.
Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan in terms of area and has a great wealth of natural resources. However, the region is plagued by earthquakes, floods and droughts. The majority of the population lives below the poverty line and lacks many necessities of life. Many live isolated in the mountains, without electricity, gas or mobile phone reception. Medical care is rudimentary.
Providing cleft treatment in Khuzdar
Khuzdar, the capital of the Khuzdar district, is suitable for a cleft mission because the city has a mobile network and a good transportation system. In advance, one of our social workers traveled to the Khuzdar area to hang banners and posters announcing the operation. In addition, a video message from Prof. Dr. Ashraf Ganatra spread the word about the mission on social media and various WhatsApp groups.
Led by Prof. Ganatra, our team traveled from Karachi with an entire bus and an ambulance to the city 400 km to the north. Despite the scenic landscape, the journey through the mountains is exhausting and not without danger. Due to strong winds and rain, it took eight hours for our team of 28 people, consisting of surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, psychologists and social workers, to arrive in Khuzdar.
Many of the patients and their families also came from very far away. Most of them cannot speak the local language (Urdu). They communicated in the local languages Brohi and Balochi. So the local hospital staff had to translate. They helped our team conduct the patient registration and explain the treatment procedure to the patients.
103 patients treated in three days
On the very first day of surgery, Prof. Ganatra and his team provided surgery to 39 patients. This was only possible because our dedicated colleagues worked late into the night at several operating tables simultaneously. After the operation, the patients are handed over to the care of the nursing staff in the recovery room. Our psychologists provide emotional support.
Over the three days of surgeries, our Pakistani team treated 103 patients. The rest of the patients are already on the waiting list for the next operation.
With these urgently needed surgeries we can give a better future to cleft children in Pakistan. Your donations make this possible. Every contribution counts – thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your support!
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.