Opening the Cleft-centre in Lahore, Pakistan
Our Cleft-centre in Lahore, Pakistan, helps some of the poorest children in the
Pakistan, a country in South Asia, is one of the poorest but also most populous countries in the world. A fifth of the people there survive on less than one dollar a day, terrorism is rife, school education for children has a similarly low standing as women in this country of patriarchy. The continuous malnutrition of the mothers results in particularly high numbers of facial disfigurements amongst the children.
It was armed with these facts, but also with his own willingness to do something for the cleft-children in his country, that Prof. Gulam Qadir Fayyaz contacted the CCI. During a conference he visited us in Zurich and entered into intensive talks with Prof. Sailer. He reported personally on the suffering of the children in his country and on the impossibility of doing something for them on his own. "When I heard that," Prof. Sailer said, "two things were absolutely clear to me: this man really does want to do something for the children in his country. And secondly it was clear that he would not be able to do that on his own." So, the CCI decided to help: on 15 July 2013 the first Pakistani child with a cleft lip was operated with our support. And by the end of the year Prof. Fayyaz and his team had already treated and operated on more than 800 children. For the children and all the other patients who we have been able to help together in the Cleft-centre in Lahore, this marks the start of a new life. A life which, although it takes place under difficult circumstances, is now at least one without the painful marginalisation of others, but a life accepted by society, together with friends and family. The Cleft-centre in Lahore has evolved in the few years since 2013 into the largest centre with almost 5,000 operations per annum.