Why Cleft Care Now?

Every day around the world, children are born with a cleft lip or palate. Many families don’t know how to get help and can’t access care. Help us change that.

Why is Comprehensive Cleft Care Important?

Without access to care, children affected by cleft may face challenges from difficulty communicating clearly, to malnutrition, to bullying and social isolation. These challenges ripple well beyond the child to their families and communities.

Even in regions where awareness of cleft as a condition is high, many families believe surgery is the only treatment needed for full rehabilitation. However, for children to speak clearly, they often require speech therapy. For proper development of their teeth, dental and orthodontic care is required, and psychosocial support helps them navigate their difference in their community.

Comprehensive Cleft Care (CCC) is the treatment pathway that is most likely to be helpful, appropriately timed, and suitable for the child’s diagnosis and context. Access to this ongoing interdisciplinary care helps a child and their family achieve full rehabilitation, one step at a time.

By partnering locally we can make Comprehensive Cleft Care available to vulnerable families around the world, as close to home as possible, for as long as they need it.

A child with cleft lip laying down beside a stethoscope on a pink background

Obstacles Families Face

  • Stigma-1


    Some families and communities see cleft as a curse or as a divine punishment.

  • Obstacles-Knowledge

    Knowledge of Cleft

    Many families do not have an understanding of cleft or where to turn for help.

  • Key-Challenge-Transportation

    Access to Care

    Cleft care is normally concentrated in major cities far from the communities who need the support most.

  • Obstacles-Financial

    Financial Resources

    Many families struggle to make ends meet and are unable to afford costly, specialized treatment.

A smiling child leaning out of a van window with his mother smiling in the background

Curious About Our Shared Impact?

Through our annual Impact Reports, we celebrate regional successes, identify opportunities and barriers to care, and update you on how your donations drive impact. As a TF donor you’re contributing to Comprehensive Cleft Care and 100% of that gift goes toward our programs.

Impact at a Glance


Cleft treatments provided by our local partners since 1999


Families helped last year


The average yearly cost for one child’s comprehensive care

“I had never seen anyone with cleft before, so seeing my daughter's cleft lip and palate overwhelmed me.”

- Nurit, Ethiopia

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