Today, 80 children with cleft lips and palates are waiting for Dr. Shahid Aziz in Khulna, Bangladesh. His team of 13 will spend a week repairing these deformities free of charge. With 162 million people, the small country of Bangladesh is one of the poorest and most densely populated nations in the world. There are an estimated 300,000 children and adults with cleft deformities and only 30 surgeons in the entire country trained specifically in their repair. Indeed, the need is great and the difference this small team can make in the life of an individual equally huge.
With this mission in mind, Dr. Aziz, his wife Anita Puran, and a group of doctors and nurses formed Smile Bangladesh, a non profit medical organization dedicated to caring for children and adults with facial clefts in Bangladesh and around the world. Visit their web site to learn more about their work or join Smile Bangladesh on Facebook.
The photo above was taken in Bangladesh by Bruce Byers (http://www.brucebyers.com/) who has traveled several times in several countries with Dr. Aziz documenting his work. Having traveled to Bangladesh with both, I am sure that, like me, you too will be moved by their generous and dedicated spirits.
Smile Bangladesh. Behind, to the right of Christina, are (l to r) Dr. Imre Redai (anesthesiologist) and Dr. Sam Rhee (surgeon), all among the founders of Smile Bangladesh.