Cleft Lip & Palate

Global Leader

The Cleft Lip and Palate Centre in Gujarat Pakistan has been voted a ‘Global Leader’ in Cleft surgery by Smile Train International.

The dental unit that supports pre and post cleft operations and also a speech therapy unit – the smile says it all.

Approximately 1 in 500 children in Pakistan are born with a defect of the lip and palate (the roof of the mouth). This is called a cleft lip and palate abnormality, as seen in the pictures. Babies and children are unable to feed or speak properly. They have a lot of infections in the mouth and ears, often leading to hearing difficulties. Schooling is often impossible and such children are made outcasts, with very little prospects of marriage.

In 1995 the Pakistan Cleft Lip and Palate Association was formed and since then with the help of plastic surgeons, travelling form places such as the UK, over 3000 children have been operated. The water services for the hospital were donated by Prof Gatrad as a memory to his parents.

For over 10 years the Trust has fully supported over 2000 operations on children at a cost of £150 each. Surgeons who travel form the UK to Pakistan have given their time free and do not even charge for travel and accommodation. Our main surgeons are. Mr Nick Hart, Dr M Riaz, Dr Zahid Rafiq (anaesthetist) and Annette Middleton (Senior Theatre Sister). In 2014 Smile Train joined us officially and the center has been voted a ‘Global Leader’ in cleft surgery.

We have 2 camps every year lasting a week each and children from all over Pakistan travel to PCLAPA (Pakistan Cleft lip and Palate) headquarters. After birth of such a child, parents register him/her with PCLAPA who contact Dr Ijaz Bashir who coordinates the timing of the operations. Approximately 10 children are operated daily by each surgeon. There is an infrastructure for speech therapy and audiology. Other deformities for example from burns and accidents are also dealt with if surgeons feel this is feasible.

The Japanese government offered R8,900,000 (approx. £69000) to help with the cleft building. This was hopelessly inadequate and MIAT has topped up to ensure that the new centre has state of the art facilities for theatre and outpatients. The cleft centre has been functional since 2012. Above this centre is built the Jubaida Gatrad and Maternity Hospital. MIAT has invested over £3/4m in this project.

Prof Gatrad ensures that this baby is fit for a cleft operation

Cleft patients all have dental check before and after their operation.

A final check before the operation

Twins – before both were operated for clefts

Prof Gatrad assisting in an operation on a child with a cleftlip/palate

A check after the operation

A life changing operation leads to happy faces and a happier future

Dr Robertson – explains the importance of dental care after the Cleft operations

Engaging with a speech therapist – essential for cleft patients after an operation




The international cleft team

Miat supporting cleft operations in Malawi. Here Shabir Ibrahim is representing miat



Dr Ian Robertson has visited Pakistan 3 times and is passionate about prevention of dental disease with simple measures. He has lectured widely to schools and universities with simple messages and trained others to do the same.

At schools in Kashmir. Promoting dental health with Dr Ian Robertson


Audiology Project

Deafkidz International

MIAT is working with DeafKidz International to develop a model of ear & hearing care for low resource settings in Pakistan. MIAT funded the initial DeafKidz International assessment to Gurjat Province and it has been instrumental in facilitating subsequent access for both DeafKidz International and its technical partner, the Netherlands based, Royal Dutch Kentalis.

Microsoft Word - miat website now with photos to update this cop

Linda Truman from the audiology unit at the Manor hospital travelled on a successful fact finding mission to Gujarat resulting in collaboration with Deaf Kidz International

Microsoft Word - miat website now with photos to update this cop

Linda lecturing on hearing problems in children

Steve Crump – Director of Deafkidz International is working with MIAT to help decrease the burden of deafness. Hearing Project – 2015