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Surgical mission in Pakistan

In late February, Prof. Ganatra, our senior surgeon in Pakistan, travelled to Naushahro Feroze. A major surgical mission was to take place in the city, 340 kilometers northeast of Karachi: More than sixty children were registered to be treated. The team accompanying Prof. Ganatra is correspondingly large. Six medical students, five surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses are at Prof. Ganatra’s side. Eight of them are women. Our volunteer project manager Dr. Ulrike Lamlé is also part of the team.


“I am overjoyed to see the professionalism and commitment shown by our team in Pakistan. I am particularly pleased that so many women are part of Prof. Ganatra’s team and are being trained by him. Oral and maxillofacial surgery is usually reserved for men in Pakistan. “

Dr. med. Ulrike Lamlé, volunteer project manager

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The equipment at the hospital in Naushahro Feroze is less lavish than the European standard, but it is sufficient for our work, as are of course the hygiene standards, to ensure safe operations for our patients. The entire process – from patient admission to photo documentation to the surgical interventions and the control visit after the operation – is perfectly organized. A total of 64 patients receive surgery in two days of work.

One of the youngest patients is five-month-old Azaad. His parents only recently leaned of our aid project through a poster. Until then, they were very worried about their son. He couldn’t nurse properly and was very weak. The whole family sets off to the hospital full of newfound hope. The seven of them live in the most basic conditions, in a mud house with a thatched roof, without electricity and running water. They could never have afforded the operation.

Azaad is successfully operated on February 29. His parents are overjoyed with the result of the lip surgery. Since the boy’s palate is also affected, another operation is necessary. The family has great confidence in Prof. Ganatra and his team. They will definitely bring Azaad back to this second surgery, which will let him to lead a normal life free of the problems the open palate would cause.

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Patient registration: Azaad with his parents before the surgery
Azaads family patiently waits in the hospital while Azaad receives surgery.
Joyous atmosphere after a successful surgery.
Nine year old Perwaiz with Dr. Ulrike Lamlé before surgery.
And nine month old Mohammad with his mother.
Both boys had a successful surgery.
Prof. Ganatra with his team.
Prof. Ganatra during patient intake.
Ulrike Lamlé observes as Prof. Ganatra operates.
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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.