Rotary District 9600
Rotary International District 9600 Limited ACN 125 588 696
Local people working in our local communities

Operation Cleft :

The children are the future of Bangladesh - Operation Cleft is committed to providing the cleft repair surgery they need to prepare for the future and make a meaningful contribution to building their nation.

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*Operation Cleft Australia is committed to improving the educational opportunities and life prospects of underprivileged children in Bangladesh born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate.

*The project started in September 2005 with a pilot program of 60 operations funded by members of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central

*With support from many people in the community and Rotary Clubs from Districts throughout Australia and overseas, in excess of 7,700 operations have now been completed

*Costs are kept to a minimum by utilizing local Bangladeshi Plastic Surgeons and the established public health care infrastructure.

*Around $250 is all that it costs to change one child's life forever.

Why Bangladesh:

*Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated and poorest countries in the world with around 40% of the population living on or below the poverty line.

*Bangladesh has a population in excess of 160 million people in an area of just 147 thousand sq km. Compare that to Australia where the population is just over 22.5 million in an area of 7.6 million sq km.

*Poverty in Bangladesh is primarily a rural phenomenon with 85% of the country's poorliving in rural village environments. We focus mainly on these areas which account for around 80% of the country's population.

* 1 in 500 babies (approximately 5,000) are born with this condition each year in Bangladesh, largely due it is thought, to poor nutrition during pregnancy

It is estimated that their are around 300,000 people in Bangladesh living with an untreated cleft. Why? Because the condition is not considered life threatening so is not covered under Bangladesh's overburdened public healthcare system. 40% of the population live on or below the poverty line and many families can not afford to pay for the surgery.

What is a cleft:

*Cleft lip and/or palate is a congenital abnormality that is seen frequently around the world. On average, about 1 in every 500-750 live births in the world result in a cleft.

*The cause of cleft lip and/or palate is typically a genetic one, but there is also evidence that environmental factors during pregnancy may play a role. Infection, lack of adequate nutrition or exposure to certain chemicals, drugs or medications may also be contributing factors.

*Cleft lip and palate are two forms of the condition that are more prevalent in males, while cleft palate is more likely found in females and it is suggested that the prevalence of this condition may also vary with ethnicity.

*Evidence indicates that Asian, Latino and European people are most likely to have the condition, while it is least likely in people of African origin.

Contact details  District 9600 Ambassador

Cath Lyndon  Ph: 07 5472 0144

Email: nhsclinic@bigpond .com

Website: www.operationcleft.org.au

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