|Project||Cleft Lip & Palate (CLIPP) Project in Dhaka|
To perform reconstruction surgeries to underprivileged population on their cleft lip and palates.
|Project Partners||Dhaka Community Hospital (DCH)|
Conducting free reconstructive surgeries to underprivileged population, the CLIPP Project also puts emphasis on the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the Malaysian medical volunteers to the local partner in Bangladesh. Lecture sessions are conducted to train local surgeons and nurses in management of cleft patients as well as pre- and post-operative procedures.
A total of 53 patients were assisted by the volunteers through reconstruction on their cleft lip and palates.
In Bangladesh, there are about 200,000 cases of untreated cleft lip and palate patients due to poor economic conditions and a lack of surgical expertise in the area. Clefts are a major problem in developing countries like Bangladesh where there are millions of children as well as adults who are suffering with unrepaired clefts. They are often subjected to social stigma and thus live a life filled with isolation and shame.
MERCY Malaysia’s efforts
Narena (not her real name) was a 12-year old girl who had a cleft palate. For the first eleven years of her life, she had speech problems. As a result, some of her friends shunned her. In 2009, her life changed when MERCY Malaysia sent over volunteer surgeons to Bangladesh. Her family traveled for three hours by bus from their home for the free treatment, was one of the patients. She is one of the lucky ones.