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Expansion of our network in Bolivia

Early this year we got a cooperation offer from the Fundación para la Salud “Roberto Rosa Ressini” Ayninakuna in Cochabamba. Ayninakuna was established in 2017 by the distinguished pediatric surgeon Dr. Roberto Edmundo Rosa Ressini.

Over many years, Dr. Rosa built up a treatment center for children with cleft lip and palate in the Aranjuez Clinic in Cochabamba. 86 percent of Ayninakuna’s patients are under one year old. An early start of treatment ensures the best results. The treatment protocol developed by Dr. Ressini calls for lip surgery in the third and palate surgery in the eleventh month after birth. NAM (Nasoalvolear Molding) is used as a preoperative measure. In addition to the full spectrum of surgical interventions, the center offers comprehensive, long-term care for the children and their parents. Family psychosocial support has been available from the start. The children are treated with orthodontics and speech therapy as needed. In the past 18 years, over 6,000 children and adolescents have been treated at the center.

In 2018, one year after the establishment of the foundation, Dr. Roberto Edmundo Rosa Ressini sadly died. Since then his life’s work, the Ayninakuna treatment center, has been headed by Dr. Eligio Rolanda Acienega Llano, a surgeon trained by Dr. Ressini. Additional collaborators are Dr. Karina Quiroga Loza and two anesthetists.

The initial cooperation agreement provides funding for 100 surgeries. A continuation of the agreement beyond these initial surgeries is planned.

Find more information about our work for cleft children in Bolivia here.

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Dr. Eligio Rolanda Acienega Llano, Ayninakuna’s head surgeon.
The surgical team.
One of the little patients on the arm of surgeon Dr. Karina Quiroga Loza.
Julieta Villca Guzmán, director of Ayninakuna in front of a poster that is drawing attention to the project.
At Ayninakuna’s treatment center, NAM is employed as a preoperative therapy.
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Five good reasons to donate for cleft children
We dedicate ourselves to a single cause: Treating children with cleft lip and palate. In our project countries, we offer direct medical help for the needy patients and their families. Measurable in the number of surgeries offered.
Whereever the situation in our project countries allows, we fund additional necessary followup therapies beyond the surgeries, such as speech therapy or orthodontics.
Every treatment is documented by our doctors in the project countries in our patient database and verified by us. This way we know that the donations entrusted to us are used properly.
Our goal always is to build sustainable, independently functioning structures in our project countries. To achieve this, we build up long-term partnerships and keep in close touch with our local partners.
The German Central Institute for Social Matters (DZI) certifies that we use the donations entrusted to us responsibly and properly manner. We have held this certificate continuously since 2012.
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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.