We met 10 year old Zikiya on our 2020 Complex Surgical Mission. She had travelled to Addis Ababa with her Grandfather Alleau, from the East Haraghe Zone of Ethiopia, their home village is in a rural area which is hard to reach. her family are farmers, growing maize and keeping cattle, Zikiya has three other siblings, Alleau told us that they attend school while Zikiya stays at home.

Zikiya had a large mass on the right side of her face, which had been rapidly growing over 18 months. Before the mass started to grow she had attended school, but she had to drop out because other students were laughing at her, she also was having difficulty breathing.

Her Grandfather told us they were told about the Project Harar Complex Mission by a health extension worker, who was visiting their community. Before this, Zikiya’s family did not think Zikiya would be able to receive treatment for the mass.

Zikiya received surgery during the Complex Programme to debulk the mass on her face, although after the surgery the area remained a little swollen, Project Harar Programme Officers have since been in contact with her family back home and the swelling has decreased. Zikiya and her family are so pleased with the outcome of the surgery. The schools in Zikiya’s area are closed due to Covid-19, but when they re-open, she will return.

On the Complex Mission Zikiya had the opportunity to make friends with other children who had complex facial disfigurements, for many children on the Complex Mission, it is the first time they have been able to play with other children.