The unmet need of global cleft care is likely to be highest in central Africa and southern Asia as shown on this map. We know from the Lancet commission that 6 billion people cannot access safe surgical care worldwide. More specifically for cleft, there is an estimated backlog of more than 600,000 people with an untreated cleft in low- and middle-income countries in 2014. With the COVID pandemic only exacerbating the shortages of resources, the stark reality is, that there is just too much work to do in too little time.
As a cause for hope, the provision of comprehensive cleft care in resource poor settings can have a transformative impact on the lives of patients and their families. There are multiple organisations globally set up specifically to do this and increasingly are working collaboratively to increase their impact. The CFSGBI supports efforts to improve comprehensive cleft care in low- and middle-income countries and aims to facilitate the collective sharing of experience to promote this aim.