Cleft Camp and Opening of the New Hospital

March/April 2016 will be a special time for OPSA, as our team is going to Gujrat as usual to conduct our usual Cleft Camp, operating on children with cleft lip and palate and other deformities, and later, officially opening our new Cleft Hospital.

This is the first purpose-built Cleft Hospital in the world.

Artists impression of the new Cleft Hospital

Artists impression of the new Cleft Hospital

When we first came to Pakistan in 1998, the original hospital was extremely cramped and operating theatre conditions very basic.

The Japanese Government stepped in with a very generous grant, and the foundation stone was laid by Mr. Mirza Muhammad Bashir, the founder of the Decent Welfare Society, on 26th March 2011. His son, Dr. Ijaz Bashir, founded the Pakistan Cleft lip and Palate Association (PCLAPA) and has been the prime mover in planning and developing the New Hospital. He and his wife, Sameera, have been our generous hosts over the years.

The new Hospital is situated in pleasant surroundings on the edge of Gujrat City, approximately midway between the major centres of Lahore and Islamabad. It has a play area for children, large outpatient rooms, outpatient facilities for patient examination, Dentistry, Ear Nose and Throat and Speech and Language Therapy.

There are large pre-and post-operative wards, and four up-to-date operating rooms and a large fully - equipped resuscitation room.

Also there are labs, a lecture theatre, administration offices and computer rooms for IT and photography.

In addition to treatment for clefts and other deformities, including post-burn contractures, there is a limb- fitting centre, and a breast reconstruction clinic, pioneered by our team member Miss Penny McManus, Consultant Breast Surgeon.

In addition to our team members, local Plastic Surgeons Anaesthetists, Nurses, and Specialists from other associated fields are recruited to provide a continuous service when we are away. Additionally, other surgical teams come over at other times, particularly that led by Mr. Chris Hill, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Most of them work on an entirely voluntary basis; their reward is the knowledge that they are rebuilding lives for our patients and their families.

Thank you


Nick Hart - OPSA Chairman

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