In February 2019, 37-year-old Ahmed arrived at Project Harar’s pre-operative centre after travelling for days from his remote community in the Oromia region. He had a left mandibular ameloblastoma – a facial tumour growing on his left jaw.

We spoke to Ahmed about his condition - his tumour had started to grow five years earlier. As the cause of this strange lump was unknown to him, and a local hospital biopsy did not reveal much, Ahmed turned to traditional medicine for help, drinking a traditional remedy in the hope of getting rid of the tumour.

However, when the remedy did not help, Ahmed’s village began to exclude him, isolating him even further because they believed the tumour was a sign that he was a bad person. They ignored him and refused to eat with him.

Fortunately, Ahmed’s wife and five children stuck with him. When we found Ahmed in November 2018 he agreed to travel to Addis for surgery. When our team met him at our pre-operative centre, it was immediately apparent that he had a kind and considerate nature. After two weeks of tests, nutritional support and oral care, Ahmed was ready for surgery.

Ahmed tumour was successfully removed by our surgeons, and his transformation was exceptional.

Ahmed emerged as a confident, happy and outgoing guy – grateful for the help he has received. He will now be able to return to his village tumour free, and will be accepted back into his community.