Orofacial clefts represent the most common congenital craniofacial anomaly worldwide. This condition is best managed by an interdisciplinary team of specialists, often with gratifying results for both the patient and the care providers. Despite recent advances in the management, it remains a challenge today to provide cleft care in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) due to the lack of basic health care infrastructure and long-term follow-up. International cleft mission trips have traditionally been successful in providing reconstructive plastic surgery to communities with limited resources. More recently, there has been a global effort in the cleft care community to facilitate development of sustainable local cleft care centers that are capable of providing longitudinal, comprehensive care to the indigenous population. This chapter focuses on the elements that are necessary for running a successful international cleft mission and a local cleft care facility, which include the essential personnel, operational protocols, equipment, logistics, patient selection, and follow-up. The challenges and future directions of providing cleft care in LMIC are also discussed.
Part of the book: Designing Strategies for Cleft Lip and Palate Care