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What is cleft lip?

Cleft lip is a congenital condition characterized by an opening or split on the upper lip. There are two kinds of cleft lip: unilateral, when an opening or split occurs on only one side of the mouth, and bilateral, when the opening or separation occurs on both sides.

What issues do children with cleft lip face?


Children with cleft lip are more prone to infections, and difficulty eating leads to frequent illness–especially in infants.


Children may be excluded or experience ridicule, leading to embarrassment and isolation.


Cleft lip can cause speech delays which hinder a child’s ability to communicate, preventing them from connecting with others.

How does surgery change a
child’s life?

  • A new smile brings confidence and hope.
  • Children can eat more effectively, leading to better physical and emotional health.
  • Speech improves, restoring confidence as children participate in community life.

Miracles happen every day at Beit CURE Children’s Hospital of Zambia


Timothy is a spirited boy who loves to play with others. In his village, he’s known as “Cleft Lip Timothy”–a name that weighs heavy on his heart. When Beit CURE’s mobile clinic visited his church, he learned hope was available. He received surgery and a new smile at Beit CURE Children’s hospital in Lusaka. From now on, he will be known simply as “Timothy.”

Contact Us

CURE Zambia’s mission is to provide every child living with a disability the physical, emotional, and spiritual care they need to heal. If you have questions about becoming a patient or a partner with CURE, please contact us.