Cleft Lip and Palate (CLIPP) Project

Project Cleft Lip and Palate (CLIPP) Project

• To treat and correct cleft lip and palate cases among the underprivileged segment of the population • To build capacity among the local staff related to CLIPP surgery

Project Partners •Dhaka Community Hospital (DCH) •Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)

• To conduct free CLIPP reconstructive surgery • To conduct CLIPP-related lectures and experience sharing sessions with local medical staff

Locations Dhaka
Period October 2008–March 2012 (9 missions)

A total of 113 patients were treated in 2 missions (56 in March and 57 in October; target to operate on at least 50 patients in each mission)


Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where millions of children as well as adults suffer from this untreated condition. They are often subjected to social stigma and therefore have to live a life filled with isolation and shame. In Bangladesh alone, there are about 200,000 untreated CLIPP cases. In a country of 150 million and having only 15 plastic surgeons, some of our CLIPP patients are adults. Founded in 1988, the Dhaka Community Hospital (DCH), a trust-owned non-profit organisation has been providing an integrated and sustainable healthcare delivery system at an affordable cost in both urban and rural areas. Its partnership with MERCY Malaysia dates back to the post-Cyclone Sidr relief operation in November 2007.


The CLIPP Project, planned for three years, is being undertaken in partnership with the DCH as well as Universiti Sains Malaysia which has generously contributed specialised staff on a volunteer basis as well as financial support. One important aspect of the project is the transfer of knowledge and expertise to local surgeons and nurses in the management of cleft patients as well as pre- and post-operative procedures.