The impact and threat of Covid-19 brought elective surgery in Ethiopia to a halt at the beginning of March. This meant we were unable to mobilize patients in need of surgery and treatment for a cleft lip or palate.

We have now adapted our programme and implemented new measures to ensure the safety of patients, their guardians, our Programme Officers and those working in our partner hospitals. You can read about our new safety measures here.

Chala and Moibon's story

We met Chala and his son Moibon towards to end of October. 18 month Moibon was born with a cleft lip and palate, Chala and his wife were very shocked. Fortunately they were in an area where they had access to the internet, Chala started to research about a treatment option for his son, the first search result he got was the Project Harar Website. Chala managed to get in touch with the Project Harar team and was told about the treatment process. Usually, a suitable age for a child to receive surgery for a cleft lip and palate in Ethiopia is around 8 months, providing they are the required weight and healthy enough. Because of the pandemic Chala and Moibon were left waiting a little longer to receive surgery. After Covid testing and two days of travel, they arrived safely in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa where Moibon successfully received treatment for his cleft lip, he will receive surgery for his cleft palate when he is a little older.

Moibon was born with a cleft lip and upper palate, this was strange I could not eat a meal for three days but later on I calmed down. I started to find on internet the cause of cleft lips and treatments in Ethiopia, after some minute got International children surgery organization (Project Harar). I saw lots of children treated and then I felt so happy. I emailed them they gave me full information how I to access service now Moibon is normal we are swimming in a ocean of love.

- Chala