Thousands of children are born in Bangladesh with cleft-lip and cleft–pallet. These children are unable to eat and speak properly. But what causes trauma is the fact that they face social isolation. Although these facial birth defects can be easily cured through surgery in an economically backward country with low levels of literacy it leads to social problem. The society blames these problems on their past sins rather than treating it as a medical deformity reducing their lives to social isolation. These children seldom undergo cleft-lip and cleft–pallet surgeries owing to poverty and lack of access to proper health care facilities.
To give these children a reason to smile Touching Souls International has been conducting free cleft-lip and cleft–pallet surgeries across some of the most backward regions of Bangladesh. Since 2001 the New York based non-profit organization has been regularly conducting camps providing 15 to 70 free cleft-lip surgeries for the disadvantaged people in each of these camps. In the last ten years Touching Souls International has conducted 36 cleft-lip camps all around Bangladesh.
Touching Souls International started the cleft-lip camps in 2001 teaming up with renowned plastic surgeon DR. Samanta Lal Sen and anesthesiologist Dr. Khalil-ur Rahman. Apart from them a host of qualified doctors and medical staff are active with the project. TSI’s cleft- lip project works in co-operation with Cleft- lip Camp Group of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. These camps have received huge response among the poor with hundreds of children as well as adults benefiting from them.
The cleft-lip and cleft–pallet problem doesn’t just merely involve surgical repair of the defect. A team of dentist, orthodontist, otolaryngologist, audiologist, and pediatrician is required to identify and treat the problems. Touching Souls International manages this by efficiently coordinating with different doctors and timing each appointment to ensure every patient is treated conveniently.
The entire process is managed by Touching Souls International’s voluntary team which visits different villages and hospitals all across Bangladesh and give these patients a reason to smile. Apart from facilitating the surgeries these volunteers also raise awareness about cleft-lip and cleft–pallet problems. One of this non profit’s main missions lies in handling the social problems related with cleft-lip and cleft–pallet such as superstitions which is common among masses. This helps in bringing about a complete change in the minds of the people regarding cleft-lip and cleft–pallet problems.
Touching Souls International, the nonprofit organization which has actively worked on health, education and family welfare projects in Bangladesh since the last 25 years. It has worked in rural areas which have very little access to proper health care facilities. Apart from conducting cleft-lip and cleft–pallet camps, Touching Souls International also conducts camps for cataract removal surgery, club foot surgery, artificial limb, palliative care, maternal health, child health, rehabilitation for paralyzed. .