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A Healthy Smile is Just the Beginning®

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—on average 3-4 times higher than in developed countires. 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 outreach programs in Lebanon and the scope of cleft services we provide is expanding. Our program is based at the Bikhazi Medical Group (BMG) Hospital (formerly Fouad Khoury Hospital).

The current economic crisis in the country has made it even more difficult for people in Lebanon to access essential health care, including cleft care. GSF-MENA is building capacity to resume our 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, including UNICEF, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Most Recent Trip: March 30- April 09, 2023


  • 62 Patient Screenings
  • 28 PCRs for patients, guardians & volunteers
  • 44 Surgical Procedures for 24 patients
  • 60 Oral Hygiene Consults
  • 40 Speech & Language Consults
  • 24 Feeding & Nutrition Consults

The GSF & GSF-MENA Teams

In addition to BMG Hospital staff, the team included:

  • 5 Surgeons
  • 7 Surgery Residents
  • 4 Anesthesiologists
  • 1 Pediatricians
  • 3 Pediatric Residents
  • 3 PACU Nurses
  • 3 Dentists & Orthodontists
  • 2 Speech/ Language Pathologists & Nutritionists
  • 5 Administrative Coordinators
  • 2 Photographers
  • 13 On-Site Volunteers

The next trip to Beirut is scheduled for November 13–23, 2024.


Current OMPs