Three year old Bisrat and her mother came to Debre Markos in the Amhara region for Bisrat's first cleft lip surgery at the end of March 2022.

Bisrat's Mum and Dad work as labourers and it took them about three hours by car to reach the hospital for treatment, Basra is their only child at the moment. 

We heard about Project Harar from the health post in our Kebele (village). The health workers saw her when we went to register her birth. We previously tried to get her treatment at local hospital but they told us they can’t treat her. Of course there is a discrimination in the community. The other children often ask her 'what is wrong with you, what happened to your lips' then she comes home and asks me 'what happened to my lips'. I tell her that she fell when she was just a baby and that is why her lips are like that. I tell her this because I don’t want her feel sad.

 I am very happy that she is now getting this surgery and I know that her morale will increase. And in the future after she gets the surgery I hope that she attends her education.

Children born with cleft lip and palate often come up against social obstacles, when making friends, interacting with their community and being included in education. This is because in very rural and remote areas, there is often limited knowledge and awareness around health conditions that cause facial difference.

On top of this infants face a multitude of developmental barriers - that can continue as they grow, unless they receive treatment. Barriers start from difficulties with breast feeding, food and liquids can sometimes be rejected through the baby's nose if they have a cleft palate, because of this infants an children with untreated cleft conditions are more at risk from malnutrition and stunting.

As well as addressing the barriers associated with the distance and cost of families in rural areas reaching treatment, we work year round to break down stigma around cleft conditions and spread positive and accurate information in rural communities, we do this via awareness raising initiatives and by conducting training for multidisciplinary health workers at a local and regional level - this is how health workers in Bisrat's kebele knew how they could refer Bisrat for free cleft lip and palate treatment via Project Harar. Training also helps to create better awareness about the correct stage (age and weight) to refer an infant for cleft surgery.


Help Project Harar continue to provide vital services to families so they can access cleft lip and palate treatment. It costs £150 to provide access to treatment for one child.

That's £150 to change someone's whole world 🌎
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