Our Work in India
India is vast in land and population. The deep rural-urban divide complicates access to cleft care. We're working to bring the circle of care closer to home.
Cleft Care in India Today
Transforming Faces’ beginnings are rooted in India, partnering with Lokmanya Tilak Hospital in 1999.
64% of India’s population lives in rural areas where travelling long distances to receive care is the norm. Our goal has long been to ensure families access care closer to home.
In India today, beliefs about cleft vary broadly. In city centres, many professionals are working to enhance care beyond surgery to become fully comprehensive. For families in rural settings, misconceptions about cleft can be a heavy burden to bear.
Today, we continue to work with our partners to reach families affected by cleft in rural areas and to innovate to ensure that ongoing comprehensive care is accessible.
- Population: 1,417,000,000
- Capital: New Delhi
- Below Poverty Line: 21%
- Cleft Incidence: 30,000+/ year
In India, qualified clinicians are concentrated in major cities. Transportation support and community-based care help address travel and cost barriers.
Community engagement can often be challenging owing to significant distances and languages spoken; the 2011 census recognized 121 languages.
Many parents question surgery and ongoing CCC treatment. Teams spend a significant amount of time educating parents on their child’s unique needs and addressing misconceptions about cleft.
Community-Based Comprehensive Cleft Care in Tamil Nadu
For over 15 years, Transforming Faces has worked with our local partner, Sri Ramachandra (SRIHER) in Tamil Nadu, India, to build a unique community-based Comprehensive Cleft Care model. This model provides ongoing support to children with cleft much closer to home, with the same trusted local care team.
This is the story of how the community model came to be and the impact it has had on children and families, some of whom have been participating from infancy through to adulthood.
Patients received CCC services at our partner centres in 2022
Average number of patients who accessed care through community outreach programs annually from 2021-2023
CCC interventions were provided to cleft patients across 2022
Stories from India
Vineesh was born in 2012 to a humble family living in the village of Neriya, India near the coastal region of Karnataka. He has two siblings whom he enjoys playing with. Vineesh enthusiastically attends school each day and hopes to grow up to be a teacher. He excels at mathematics, which happens to be his…
We are often asked how TF came to be. As longtime friends of TF will know, our co-founder and Board Chair, Jackie, has a deep personal connection to our work, as she was born with a cleft lip and palate. We are delighted that Jackie has chosen to share some of her story. Our co-founder…
Cleft Lip and Palate in India Cleft is one of the most common birth anomalies in the world – affecting approximately 1 in 700 children. As the second most populous country in the world (with a whopping 1.35 billion citizens and growing), it is unsurprising that there are a large number of children affected by…
Think back to when you were sixteen. Now imagine being sixteen with an unrepaired cleft lip and palate. For 16 years, Bharathi faced shame and stigma at every turn. No one in her small, rural community understood what it meant to be born with a cleft. She wanted to go to school like her peers,…
Our Partners in Cleft Care
TF has been supporting partners in India since 1999.
Our Partnerships in India
- Sri Ramachandra Institute of Higher Education and Research (SRIHER), Chennai
- Akila Bharatha Mahila Seva Samaja (ABMSS), Nationwide
- Rangadore Memorial Hospital, Bangalore
- Sree Balaji Medical Centre, Chennai