Two missions will take place simultaneously in Ethiopia this February, training health workers in good nutritional practices and reviewing patients from previous Complex Surgical Missions.
Project Harar's first ever Nutrition Mission will see NHS dietician Natasha Mir training around 75 Ethiopian health workers in good nutrition and measurement practices. This will help to ensure that the children identified by these health workers as being in need of surgery for facial conditions, including cleft lip and palate, will arrive for their surgeries in the best possible health and at a weight sufficient for them to undergo surgery.
Currently almost a third of patients arriving for cleft lip and palate surgery end up being turned away due to being too underweight, sick or malnourished to undergo surgery.
Another mission running concurrently with the Nutrition Mission will review patients from previous Complex Surgical Missions, assessing how the surgery they received has changed the quality of their lives, and whether these patients need any further surgery or follow-up treatment. Two doctors, a nurse, a photographer and an admin volunteer will assess around 50 past patients, examining them and conducting in-depth interviews to assess their quality of life and the impact of the treatment they received.
The cases we'll be covering include cleft lip and palate; noma (a facial gangrene); tumours; animal attack injuries; and burns.
Project Harar's UK director, Victoria Clare, said, 'We are very excited to be running our first ever Review and Nutrition Missions. The Review Mission will give a valuable insight into the impact of our work on our patients' lives. It will also help us to make good decisions about where we can have the best effect in the future. Our Nutrition Mission is hugely important too; so many of our patients are stunted or malnourished as a result of their conditions and there is so little research into the dietary status of patients with facial disability in developing countries. Our volunteer dietitian will improve our understanding and train around 75 local health workers. This will improve the health and life chances of our patients for many years to come.'
Our wonderful medical and admin volunteers are using their holiday time to volunteer for us, but they need your help to cover the costs of the missions.
The Nutrition Mission fundraising target is £3,847.
To help us get there, visit our GlobalGiving page and donate £10 or whatever you can.
The fundraising target for the Review Mission is £8,689.
To help us reach this ambitious goal, please visit the fundraising page and donate whatever you can.
Every amount, however small, helps to improve the quality of life of children in Ethiopia with facial conditions.
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