In Ethiopia, many babies are born with cleft lip and palate, which makes them unable to breastfeed. Due to mothers and health workers lacking knowledge as to what makes up a healthy, balanced diet, children with cleft can become too small, thin and sickly to have a cleft operation. If children born with cleft cannot have an operation by the time they get to school age, it is extremely unlikely that they will attend school or have the advantages in life of children born without cleft.
Project Harar is sending NHS dietician Natasha Mir to Ethiopia in February 2017 to provide training to healthcare workers in planning a balanced diet, training which they will pass on to families with children with cleft to keep them healthy. Natasha will also provide training to health workers in taking measurements to calculate a child's Body Mass Index (BMI) so they can identify at-risk and underweight children, and ensure that these children are given the best possible chance to thrive.
The training which Project Harar provides can be shared via health workers and the charity's staff in Ethiopia to benefit over 1,000 families. We will create the opportunity for good nutritional practices to be spread among communities, increasing the likelihood that children born with cleft lip and palate will be able to get the surgery they need. Surgery for cleft will mean that children will have the chance to attend school without fear of stigma, and a better chance of a normal, happy life.
This project has provided additional documentation in a DOCX file (projdoc.docx).
Project Harar website