Nutrition is an integral part to providing comprehensive cleft care in Ethiopia. The traditional Ethiopian diet — although products range from region to region — is rich in nutrients, however, in rural areas there are often environmental, social and economic factors, that cause food insecurity. For example, flooding and drought can lead to crop destruction and although a large portion of the populations lively hoods are built on agriculture, families who are experiencing economic hardships are sometimes inclined to sell the majority of their produce on, meaning their diets can become scarce and limited. For a child born with a cleft lip and palate, nutrition is vital. Children with cleft often experience difficulty with breast feeding, because of the incomplete mouth seal which makes it difficult to latch on, a cleft palate can also mean liquid or solid food can be rejected through the nose. Before a child receives surgery they need to meet the required health state and their nutrition needs to be optimised before and after surgery for a healthy recovery.
Read about families who have accessed our services around nutrition for cleft lip and palate.
Though traditional foods in Ethiopia vary from region to region, there are many common foods that are consumed across the country. We visited some market places and farms in and around Addis Ababa to find out more...