Operation Cleft is an international project of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central
(District 9810) that raises funds to enable the underprivileged in
Bangladesh to receive free life-altering repair surgery.
EVERY FACE TELLS A STORY
A simple solution to a serious problem
Operation Cleft Australia is committed to improving the lives of underprivileged children in Bangladesh, by providing free cleft
lip and palate repair surgery to those born with this condition.
Many young families in Bangladesh live on or below the poverty line – less than $2 a day. They lead simple, village lives, where
everything revolves around the extended family group. Between 4,000 and 5,000 babies are born with cleft lip and/or palate conditions
each year in Bangladesh. These babies are often sickly and malnourished due to feeding problems. In fact, 12% of
babies born with clefts die before the age of five.
If these cleft conditions are left untreated, these children will suffer both physically and emotionally, and they face a life of
torment, poor health, isolation, and illiteracy. Frequently both children and their families are ostracised by their communities,
and many family units break down due to the stress and peer pressure.
Since 2005, Operation Cleft Australia, an international humanitarian project of the Rotary Club of Box Hill Central, Victoria,
has annually provided the financial support to provide 1000 free cleft repair surgeries annually to the underprivileged in
Bangladesh. Our objective in going forward with this program is to:
- Increase the number of surgeries we can provide
- Increase the number of surgeons
- Broaden the geographical spread of surgical camps
- Assist in the development of newly-established plastic surgery units in provincial cities
- Encourage sustainability
- Encourage the development of plastic surgery training programs
With each cleft repair operation, conducted in surgical camps throughout Bangladesh by top Bangladeshi plastic surgeons,
these children and their families now have the opportunity to lead normal lives, get an education, build a social network and
to reach their full potential as contributing members of their community.
Operation Cleft Australia’s mission is to continue to provide these free, life-altering surgeries for free to those in Bangladesh most in need.