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Flood disaster in our project country Pakistan

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This summer, Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V.’s cleft lip and palate treatment project country Pakistan is suffering from catastrophically heavy flooding that has grown into a nationwide catastrophe exacerbated by climate change. Some provinces of the country have received several times as much rain as usual for the season. Glacier melt has also been heavier than usual due to severe heat, leading to even higher water levels in the nation’s rivers. By the end of August, Pakistan’s minister of climate change estimated that a third of the country was affected. The known death toll already exceeds a thousand lives lost, and the material damage has also been huge, with terrible damage to houses, infrastructure and crops.

Many have been forced to flee and are now facing exposure, lack of food and drinking water, and exposure to waterborne diseases, which could easily kill many more. Among those helping the victims is our project partner in the Cleft Pakistan project, the Al Mustafa Welfare Society, a large Pakistani charity. They have been providing cooked meals and medical care to those in need. The video below was made by them and shows some of the extent of the catastrophe.


“The situation on the ground is far more grim compared to whatever you see on media. There are many areas which are not reachable by roads. Boats are needed which are sparse. Role of government is very minimal. All relief work is done by non governmental organisations. Relief NGOs are providing raw edibles like flour, rice, sugar and cooking oil, but flood affected people have no facility to cook. They need ready made food like dates, biscuits, chips, lentil etc.

We had planned a cleft camp in Khairpur on 9th and 10th September which we had to cancel. Fortunately Karachi is safe from flooding.  Being the largest city and industrial hub of Pakistan, donations from city are also huge. Many NGOs are active and doing good work.

Let’s hope the situation calms down in coming days.”
– Dr. Muhammad Ashraf Ganatra, project leader and head surgeon Cleft Pakistan

A video of the floods by our Cleft Pakistan partner organization Al Mustafa Welfare Society
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Hope for improvement

Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V. is deeply saddened by this terrible disaster that has befallen our friends and cleft care partners in Pakistan and their compatriots. We hope that the weather will improve, and that sufficient international and national aid will be made available so that the people of Pakistan can recover and quickly move forward with repairing the damage and rebuilding their livelihoods.

From our projects
Visit to our cleft treatment project in Pakistan
Helping the children with cleft malformation treated in our cleft treatment project in Karachi live their best lives is the overarching goal of our three-year BMZ funding project. To evaluate the project, a team from Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe traveled to Pakistan in early 2023. An exciting trip with intense, touching impressions of the successful work done by our Pakistani partners.
Project visit Sierra Leone
Many people in Sierra Leone are affected by extreme poverty. This also means very poor conditions and little hope for treatment for those who give birth to a child with cleft lip here. Now our long-time volunteer supporters and Africa project leaders, the highly qualified surgeons Dr. Dr. Oliver Blume and Gunther Au-Balbach, visited the country to establish contacts for a new cleft project and to provide care to the first patients.
December 2022: Project visit in Vietnam
Our help for children with cleft lip and palate would be impossible without our network of helpers. In addition to many local surgeons and other medical professionals in the partner countries, this network also includes volunteers who support our local teams with passion and skill. An intercultural exchange that is enriching for both sides. The work in our project country Vietnam has been accompanied since 2016 by the Munich doctors Dr. Denys J Loeffelbein and Dr. Daniel Lonic. In December 2022, the two visited their colleagues and friends in Vietnam again for the first time since the pandemic.
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.