Project Harar is committed to providing comprehensive cleft care to patients from rural Ethiopia. Our comprehensive cleft care plan includes the sustainable approach of disseminating health messaging and training to health extension workers who operate in rural communities of Ethiopia via our year round outreach programme. During the pandemic we have adapted our work to continue to support patients and families whilst they wait for surgery, which is now available in some of our partner hospitals at a reduced capacity and with new safety measures.
At the beginning of March, elective surgery in Ethiopia was put on hold due to the Coronavirus meaning we were unable to mobilize babies and children who need treatment for a cleft lip or palate, or complex facial disfigurement. The communities in which we work are some of the most disadvantaged in Ethiopia, there is no access to running water making key Covid prevention strategies such as regular hand washing extremely difficult to maintain. There are also numerous challenges to spreading health messaging in these areas and because of limited health facilities and equipment these are the communities which will be overwhelmed by the virus if measures are not taken to prevent spread.
Our Covid Response Programme is supported by UK Events Industry charity Meeting Needs and NGO Manos Unidas. The main focus of the Programme is disseminating constructive comprehensive health messaging into remote communities and equiping health officials and residents with effective and accessible PPE such as water barrels and soap, so families have the extra facility to wash their hands in their own home.
Read about the adaptations to our Cleft Programme and the new safety measures we have implemented
Click to read about the practical measures we are implementing into the community
Click to read about our Covid Response in the Gamo and Gofa Zones of the SNNPR
Click here to read about the programmes pilot in Oromia