Welcome to Cleft Africa!

Who we are

Cleft Africa is an initiative to give all East Africans suffering from cleft lip and palate, a common birth defect, access to optimal treatment of their condition, irregardless of their financial means. To achieve this we collect donations and finance surgeries for cleft patients, as well as specialized training for our African partner surgeons. So far we are active in four countries, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The aid structure

Cleft Africa currently consists of several institutional and noninstitutional partners. Institutional partners include the Fondation Stamm with its hospital „Centre Médical Hippocrate” (CMH) in Bujumbura / Burundi, the German NGOs Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe e.V. in Freiburg and Burundikids e.V. in Cologne, the Rulenge-Ngara diocese (bishop Severine Niwemugizi), Tanzania, and the university teaching hospital Mbarara / Uganda. Additional training of local medical professionals is also provided in DCKH's Indian cleft centers.

Key noninstitutional partners are the German maxillofacial surgeons Dr Dr Oliver Blume und Gunther Au-Balbach, who initiated the project, perform medical-professional supervision on a volunteer basis and still visit Africa regularly to participate in surgical missions and share their knowledge, Dr Laurent Siborurema of the university teaching hospital Kigali, Rwanda, who works as a surgeon and an organizer, and surgeon Dr Deus Twesigye (Uganda) and anaesthesist Dr Emanuel Munyarugero from Mbarara, Uganda, who perform surgical missions throughout the region and at Mbarara.

All partners share a longstanding dedication to supporting patients with cleft lip and/or palate. Dr Dr Oliver Blume und Gunther Au-Balbach have been active in Africa for more than 15 years. The partners' collaboration has expanded their ability to support cleft patients in the region and reduced administrative costs.

DCKH raises awareness of cleft, collect donations, and uses them to fund the cleft-related work of the other partners. Burundikids e.V. raises funds for CMH in particular and also does organizational work. The partners perform the cleft surgeries and other medical interventions and build and maintain organizational and physical infrastructures for cleft treatment as well as train local medical personnel in the specialized medical skills needed. The goal is a structure that is sustainable and well-rooted in local societies.

You can find further information about DCKH here: