Medlife Foundation is an inspirational charity based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, giving people not just a new smile but a second chance at life. They perform reconstructive surgery on children and adults who come from the poorest parts of rural India.
In conservative rural societies, where looks can seem to be of paramount importance, ‘looking different’ can cause a severe sense of insecurity and inadequacy.
This partnership is born out of a mutual ideal that quality healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. That principle remains at the core of our belief and we provide a free holistic package of healthcare support to the poorest people from the first point of contact throughout the pre and post operation period and related after care term.
Our support enables Medlife Foundation to cover all costs and related aftercare treatment that may otherwise be a barrier to having these life changing operations
A cleft is a birth defect that occurs when the tissues of the foetus do not fuse very early in pregnancy.
A cleft lip, sometimes referred to as a ‘harelip’, is an opening in the upper lip that can extend into the base of the nostril. A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth.
The plight of the patients
The beneficiaries are drawn from some of the most marginalised sections of rural Gujarat and often families travel days from their homes in order to have their loved ones treated. Indeed some of the patients are so poor they have no money to get home after surgery, sometimes they have no shoes and no money for food.
As a result of this deformity, most:
- Cannot eat or speak properly.
- Aren’t allowed to attend school.
- Shunned and ostracised by their communities
- Will never get married or hold a job.
- succumb to a solitary life lived in the protection of their homes.
……..they face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache.
They will never know the simple joys that we take for granted, like going to school or making friends or having a livelihood.
Their clefts usually go untreated because they are poor – too poor to pay for a simple surgery that has been around for decades
We are of the view that these life changing operations is one of the best ways to liberate the lives of these vulnerable people. Helping them to stand independently, provide all the necessary support (medical, financial and otherwise) and finally enabling them to gain personal freedom from societal oppression.
Finally, we believe that everyone deserves to live their lives with dignity and for those born with a cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformity, dignity begins with a smile…….