ISLAMABAD - A team of two Chinese surgeons and Pakistani doctors successfully operated upon 40 cleft lip and palate patients during five-day free medical camp held here.

Dr Malian and Dr Zhou Xia of Beijing University, Department of Stomotology especially travelled to the capital to join the camp during which a number of affected patients, mostly children, were treated at Islamabad International Hospital and Research Centre.

It was the third time that they visited Pakistan for conducting the surgeries. The camp was arranged by Islamabad Cleft Lip and Palate Association (ICLPA). During their stay in Islamabad, the Chinese doctors also provided training to the young medical practitioners to treat such patients.

At a reception hosted in the honour of the Chinese doctors, it was announced that a specialized hospital for Cleft lip and palate patients will be set up soon in the federal capital for which a piece of land has been acquired. It was hoped that philanthropists will come forward to participate in this noble task. The reception was addressed among others by Farhat Akhtar Rehman, Dr Azhar Sheikh and Dr Zahida Ahmed who explained the complexity of the disease and treatment process, while pledging to continue mission to serve the ailing humanity.

Dr Farhat said that they feel immensely pleasure to give the affected children a new life and to have a smile on their face. She said it was her pride to continue the mission of her late husband Dr Akhtar Rehman who has devoted whole of his life to help the cleft lip and palate patients to have a normal life, getting the ability to speak, eat and hear.

The speakers eulogised services of Chinese doctors who spared their valuable time to provide medical and surgical support to the cleft lip and palate patients. Dr Ma Lian said that she was keen to come to Pakistan providing medical services to their Pakistani brothers and sisters. She was doing so for the last many years. The Association’s President M Aftab said that his organisation had been providing free surgical facilities to the poor families since 2004 with the support of families, friends and well wishers.

Dr Azhar Sheikh said nearly 10,000 children with these deformities were born every year in Pakistan and alarmingly about 200,000 kids with these deformities are waiting to be operated upon.

According to Dr Zahida Ahmed of ICLAPA said that there were few challenges which required support, mainly dedicated volunteers who could continue and expand endeavour and increase financial support to sustain the noble cause.

Regular camps and operations are being held around the year and patients are welcome to get in touch. Meanwhile the next visit of the Chinese experts is planned in April 2020, she added.