Our Beirut Story
The Middle East has some of the highest incidence of children born with clefts, approximately 1 in every 400 live births–on average 3-4 times higher than those in more developed countries. In addition, the ongoing humanitarian and refugee crises in the region has increased the number of underserved patients in Beirut while also making access to specialized care even more difficult.
We currently conduct 2 annual missions to Lebanon and the scope of cleft services we provide is expanding. Our surgeries are performed at the Bikhazi Medical Group (BMG) Hospital (formerly Fouad Khoury Hospital). More recently we started having monthly cleft clinics at that hospital to provide continuity of care in between our missions and allow new patients to be seen more quickly.
GSF-MENA works closely with several NGOs to reach underserved patients including UNICEF, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Rotary International, and Himaya.
The GSF team conducted an outreach cleft program in November 2020 after having to cancel our April trip due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to provide 35 surgeries for 31 patients, as well as dental care, speech therapy, and feeding assistance. During this program, GSF and GSF-MENA implemented additional safety protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
Most Recent Trip: November 9-21, 2020
Our 9th Mission Trip since 2012.
GSF volunteers provided life-changing patient care, including:
- 111 Patients Screenings
- 35 Surgical Procedures (31 patients)
- 15 Speech Therapy Assessments
- 4 Feeding Consultations
- 20 Dental Exams
The GSF Team
Hosted by BMG hospital, the team included GSF and GSF MENA volunteers:
- 5 Surgeons
- 2 PACU Nurses
- 1 Peri-Op Nurse
- 2 Pediatricians
- 1 Speech Therapist
- 4 Admin Coordinators
- 1 I.T. Coordinator
- 1 Photographer
- 21 On-Site Volunteers