Newcastle cleft surgeon and CLEFT trustee, Mr David Sainsbury, was invited to visit the Kirtipur Hospital in Nepal by Dr Shankar Rai (left) in May 2022.

Kirtipur Hospital is Nepal's plastic surgery hospital located in the capital city of Kathmandu. It was established in 2014 and already has five outreach clinics with plans for a further three underway. There are 13 surgeons; four are dedicated cleft surgeons. The hospital is supported by other charities in various means but nonetheless, resources are limited and they do not receive much in the way of training support. 

At present, approximately 100 children born with cleft lip and palate are treated by Dr Rai and his team, and a a further 400 children are seen in the outreach centres annually.

Following the visit by David Sainsbury in May, the CLEFT trustees agreed to offer support in the form of training. Mr Sainsbury has since been instrumental in setting up a twinning programme between the Newcastle cleft clinic and Kirtipur Hospital.