Latest news from Cleft Bangladesh

Cleft Bangladesh: 1,995 cleft surgeries provided in 2023

The statistics for 2023 have been finalized, and our Cleft Bangladesh success story continues, thanks to our passionate surgeons and their teams and our generous donors. 1,995 cleft surgeries were provided to patients like Ruzain (pictured above), helping them live better lives and fulfil their dreams without the burden of untreated cleft. We are deeply grateful for everyone who worked with us to make this possible and hope to continue our work in 2024 with the same or even greater success.

New Cleft Bangladesh head surgeon added

We are happy to announce that our Cleft Bangladesh surgeon traineeship program has successfully added a new head surgeon to our Cleft Bangladesh team in 2023. Our veteran surgeons, with thousands of cleft surgeries between them, shared their ample experience with pediatric surgeon Dr. Masfiquer Rahman. He is now providing surgeries to cleft patients as part of Cleft Bangladesh. Welcome aboard, Dr. Masfiquer!

20,000 Euro for Cleft Bangladesh from RTL Germany!

We are overjoyed and grateful to announce that the charity of German TV station RTL is supporting our work in Bangladesh with 20,000 Euros raised in a marathon 24 hour charity TV show for children in need. In the picture above, showmaster Wolfram Kons presents the symbolic cheque to DCKH CEO Andrea Weiberg in May 2022. The funds will allow our Bangladeshi surgeons to provide many more surgeries to cleft patients in Bangladesh. We say thank you! to RTL and of course the donors for making this possible!

1,786 cleft surgeries provided in 2022

We are happy to announce that our Cleft Bangladesh partner surgeons provided 1,786 cleft surgeries to patients in 2022. Each of these surgeries means a health burden lifted from a child and their family, improving their quality of life and letting them move ahead to fulfil their ambitions. We say thank you! to all our surgeons and other esteemed partners in the Cleft Bangladesh project, and of course to our many donors, for making this possible.

Training surgeons - to help more cleft children

Surgeons with specialist training in cleft treatment are indispensable to our projects. Training more of these experts is crucial so that we can keep treating more and more of the many cleft patients that go untreated. Dr. Mashfiquer (pictured, center) and Dr. Shantona (right) will join our team in Bangladesh as new surgeons once their training is complete. Dr. Elmi from Somalia (left) visited Dr. Zaman to see the experienced surgeon perform cleft surgery. We wish them long successful careers as cleft surgeons!





Cleft Bangladesh mourns Nuruzzaman Khan Mitu

The Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe team is deeply saddened to announce the loss of one of our colleagues. Mr Nuruzzaman Khan Mitu, camp coordinator for our Cleft Bangladesh project, sadly succumbed to Covid in September 2021. He was only 37 years old. Mr Nuruzzaman Khan Mitu was very dedicated to our cleft work and helped to change the lives of hundreds of cleft children. Our deepest and heartfelt condolences go to his loved ones and colleagues.

Cleft surgery training for young surgeons offered

To guarantee sustainability of the Cleft Bangladesh project, DCKH and OCA want to add two to four young surgeons from Bangladesh to Cleft Bangladesh. For this, Cleft Bangladesh launches an eight to twelve months specialist training program for enthusiastic future cleft surgeons. The trainees will get hands on training under our highly experienced currently active partner cleft surgeons and will also have the opportunity to receive international training. All interested young surgeons are cordially welcomed to apply for the training program. The application deadline is November 30.

Download all information about the application process and the training plan here.

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.

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.