Latest news from Cleft Bangladesh

Cleft care in times of the Corona epidemic

Abir was born in October 2018. After his first birthday, Prof. Ahmed, one of our leading surgeons in Bangladesh, closes Abir’s cleft lip. Since Abir’s palate is also affected, he needs a second operation. But then the Corona epidemic brings a lockdown and an operation stop. Abir’s parents are desperate. The palate operation is very important: Abir cannot swallow properly without it. Feeding Abir is not easy for his mother. The pandemic makes the family’s life even more difficult. Now, Abir’s parents finally received the long-awaited call: Prof. Ahmed and his team are working again. The operation takes place. Everything goes well and Abir is able to return home with his parents, a ray of hope in these difficult times.

Dr. Zaman organizes food aid in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has been in a total lockdown since March 26. Countless people from all walks of life have suddenly become unemployed. To help these people, Cleft Bangladesh surgeon Dr. Zaman has sprung into action. In his garage in Dhaka, volunteers pack food for the needy, financed by donations from his international circle of friends and acquaintances. 1,200 families have already received aid! He intends to continue this work, since an improvement in the situation in Bangladesh is currently not foreseeable.

Almost 1200 surgeries in the 2018/19 fiscal year!

Cleft Bangladesh announces a very successful 2018-2019 fiscal year: Up to May 2019, our surgeons (pictured above: DCKH's Dr. Ulrike Lamle with Dr. Quamruzzaman's team during a June 2019 cleft camp) performed 1159 surgeries against the limit of 1200 surgeries approved by the NGO Affairs Bureau of Bangladesh. For the 2019-2020 fiscal year, the Bureau has expanded this limit to 1800 surgeries!

Cleft Bangladesh thanks Shakib Al Hasan

Cleft Bangladesh is grateful to Bangladesh Cricket captain Shakib Al Hasan, seen here with Dr. Ulrike Lamlé of Deutsche Cleft and Cleft Bangladesh surgeons Dr. Muhammad Quamruzzaman and Dr. Ziaul Haque, for his support as a goodwill ambassador.

Second meeting with Cleft Bangladesh Surgeons

In March 2019, Maike Herrmann of Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe met with the Cleft Bangladesh local partner surgeons and project coordinators to discuss the further course of action for development of the Cleft Bangladesh project and last details for the impending launch of the project website.

Patient stories

Toiong Marma's new start in life

Toiong Marma came to DCKH’s cleft center, LMRF Children Hospital Chittagong, in March 2019. She was born in Bandarban district with a cleft lip as well as palate, shocking her parents, Matui and Singnu Marma. No one in their family had this type of deformity before and this event distressed them. People around their area left oblique remarks to them and made them believe that Toiong got the cleft deformity because her mother Mrs. Matui did fish scaling during lunar eclipse while she was in her womb. Others believe in rebirth and believed that Toiong did some misdeed in her first birth and got the deformity as a punishment in her next birth.

They are from Marma tribe, one of the big ethnic groups in the country. Banderban Hill Track is around 60 kilometers away from Chittagong. In hill track areas the living standard is low. People have to live without electricity, the communication system is very rough, and people still lead a primitive life style. A few families can afford solar electricity. Most of the people from hill track areas do not have an idea about life outside the area. As Toiong‘s father said “I have never been in Chittagong city in my life before, I came here for my child’s treatment”.

Mr. Singnu and Mrs. Matui make their living through “Jhum” cultivation, growing crops in hill slopes, which yields very limited harvests. Selling Jhum crops, they earn 20-25 thousand taka (less than 300 US-Dollars) yearly. So they cannot afford cleft surgery for their child. “We wanted to have a correction of the deformity since her birth, but we could not afford the cost”, Mrs Matui Marma said.

An uncle who knew about free surgery and DCKH’s weekly camps at LMRF Children hospital gave them information about the center. At the first visit to the camp, Toiong got cleft lip surgery, and on 2nd July, 2019 she got her cleft palate surgery. Toiong's family are very happy with the correction and want to work as agents for changing lives of cleft children around their locality.

Toiong will come to the center for a follow up after three months. We hope all will be well with her and she will have a happy life.

Niloy Bormon's story

Niloy Bormon was born in a remote village of Tangail district. His parents were very sad to see a cleft lip deformity in their child. They had to endure a lot of negative remarks from family members and neighbours. They did not know what to do. But when they heard about our free surgical services, they brought Niloy to us. We explained the situation to them and operated on the baby. After the surgery they were extremely happy to see the immediate result.

Akib Hossain's story

Akib was born with cleft lip and palate. His mother was blamed for his deformity. Luckily, his parents heard about our Cleft Centre and Akib was operated, and the family now knows that Akib's cleft wasn’t anyone's personal fault. His parents couldn’t have paid the treatment on their own and are very happy about the free treatment. Now Akib can live a nearly normal life. He goes to school with the other village children. Only his voice sounds nasal and shows how important comprehensive care of cleft is. The goal of Cleft Bangladesh is to offer children like Akib speech therapy so they can live without any impairment.