Even though 1 in 6 children are born with Cleft conditions in Ethiopia every year, most of those living in rural areas don't get treated because (1) they don't know it's treatable, thinking it's "God's will", (2) there are no nearby services, (3) they can't travel to the only city where treatment is available. Yet treatment is vital. Without it they're at risk of health issues like malnutrition and stunting, and are also socially isolated, missing out on the important Ethiopian community life.
Our end-to-end service brings children from their rural homes to Addis Ababa for treatment. We provide them with transport, accommodation and medication. We are there after surgery too, ensuring that they rehabilitate and integrate back into their communities and schools. We also advocate within the community and local health services to spread knowledge, reduce stigma and improve social inclusion. This helps the children experience better health and social life.
This project will help 20 children receive life changing facial surgery, enabling them to eat and drink like everyone else. Immediately, this creates a healthier life and leads them to be more accepted in their communities. Educating local communities about cleft conditions will help those in the future with similar conditions. Most likely, the children will attend and stay in school, and take part in community events.