Cleft in the Middle East
Cleft occurs more frequently in the Middle East than in other areas of the world. Approximately 1 in every 420 babies born in this region has a cleft lip and/or palate—3-4 times higher than in developed countries. In addition, the ongoing humanitarian and refugee crises in the region have increased the number of underserved patients living in Lebanon while also making access to specialized care even more difficult because so many skilled surgeons and providers have left the region.
We currently conduct 2 annual missions to Lebanon and the scope of cleft services we provide is expanding. Our outreach cleft care is based at the Bikhazi Medical Group (BMG) Hospital (formerly Fouad Khoury Hospital). We also provide education and training for cleft care providers in the country to build capacity for sustainable cleft care year-round.
GSF-MENA operates a monthly cleft clinic to provide continuity of care in between our missions and allow new patients to be seen more quickly. They also work closely with several NGOs to reach underserved patients.