Cleft Lip

Samaritan’s Purse repairs cleft lips and palates to transform the lives of people in developing countries

Cleft lip is one of the most common birth defects in the world, occurring in one in every 700 children. For children born with cleft lip in developing countries, there are few options for medical treatment.

Samaritan’s Purse cleft lip program works to fill this gap by providing this much-needed surgery to children and adults.

Cleft Lip/Palate Surgery - 013979

Started in 2011, the Samaritan’s Purse cleft lip program has performed surgeries on more than 400 patients in South Sudan and Bolivia. The program will expand to Liberia this fall. These surgeries not only offer the opportunity for a better life, but they also provide an avenue to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Cleft lip occurs when the lip, palate, or both do not come together properly during pregnancy. Children with untreated cleft lip can often develop breathing, hearing, speaking, and language development problems. It can also make eating and drinking difficult, which can impact a child’s physical and mental development. They are often shunned by their communities and suffer teasing and taunts by other children and adults.


Samaritan’s Purse performs the operations for those suffering from cleft lip regardless of age. We have performed surgery on patients from just a few months old to 60 years of age. All the surgeries are provided free-of-charge, and the medical team assists in the transportation and logistics for the patients.

“When God looks at us, we are all deformed by the ugly sins of our lives,” said Lemi, the father of one of our first cleft lip patients. “He loves us anyway, and He chooses to let us become beautiful through Christ. Jesus is using these doctors to make people whole on the outside just like He makes us whole on the inside."

As this program continues to expand, please pray for the patients who have received surgery and those awaiting this life-changing procedure. Ask that many patients and their families will be open to receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Please also pray for the physicians and nurses who travel great distances and work long hours to make sure every need is met.