Tell me about Operation Cleft

A Simply Amazing Humanitarian Project

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As of May 2019, over 11,000 cleft lip and cleft palate operations have been completed in Bangladesh though the fundraising efforts of our Club and the generous donors and volunteers who support this project.  Typically, about 1,000 operations are performed each year, depending on the prevailing circumstances in Bangladesh - it is a very poor country that suffers from both weather extremes and political unrest.

Join Rotary at work in Jessore in Bangladesh

Each operation costs around $300 and transforms the life of the child and their family.  There is no other way that $300 can have such an impact.  You can change a child's life now.
 
 

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUr-5Rwy8VY
 
 

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 
 
https://youtu.be/IUr-5Rwy8VY

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 
 
https://youtu.be/IUr-5Rwy8VY

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 
 
https://youtu.be/IUr-5Rwy8VY
 

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 

More in-depth Information about Cleft Lips and Palates

From the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - a major cleft centre in the US dealing with up to 1,000 clefts per year. 

What is a Cleft Lip or Palate?

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Children all over the world can be born with clefts - on average one in 700-800 births results in a cleft.  A child can have a cleft lip or there can also be a cleft in the palate, inside the mouth.  In wealthy countries they are repaired shortly after birth, but where people are very poor, such as in Bangladesh, the cleft is not repaired and the child grows to adulthood with their cleft.  
Children with clefts are often sickly, have trouble feeding and are often shunned or abandoned by their families because their facial deformity is believed to be a result of a sin from a past life.  While some clefts are complex to repair many are straightforward and the repair transforms not only the child but the immediate family as well.  ‚Äč
The project was started by Rotarian Colin Macfarlane AM at our Club in 2005, and is now operated as an independent foundation with its own board of management.  It is widely supported by individuals and Rotary clubs around Australia and overseas.

How Does the Project Operate?

A government approved NGO in Bangladesh organises the surgeons and the hospitals that do the operations and the costs are paid by Operation Cleft Foundation. Bangladesh has many skilled surgeons - the problem is simply that the people are too poor to pay for the operations.  An added benefit is that the project also helps to build the capacity of the medical system in Bangladesh.