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 annual missions to Lebanon and the scope of cleft services we provide is expanding. Our mission is based at the Bikhazi Medical Group (BMG) Hospital (formerly Fouad Khoury Hospital).
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, including UNICEF, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), Doctors Without Borders (MSF), and the International Comittee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Most Recent Trip: April 9-18, 2021
Our 11th Mission Trip since 2012
During this program, GSF and GSF-MENA implemented new safety protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
- 35 Patient Screenings
- 26 Surgical Procedures ( 26 patients)
- 15 Speech Therapy Assessments
- 10 Nutritional Consultations
The GSF/GSF-MENA Teams
In addition to BMG Hospital staff, the team included:
- 6 Surgeons
- 6 Residents (Plastics, ENT)
- 2 PACU Nurses
- 3 Pediatricians
- 1 Speech Therapist
- 4 Administrative Coordinators
- 1 Photographer
- 10 On-Site Volunteers