Since the beginning of March this year we have been unable to mobilise cleft patients from rural areas of Ethiopia because of the pandemic. This October we were able to run a pilot cleft mission at a reduced capacity to facilitate social distancing and new safety measures. Four patients were brought from a remote area of Oromia to Addis Ababa with their guardians and received cleft surgery successfully and safely. 

PHE are very satisfied with the outcome of this month’s pilot mission, all of the guardians who travelled to Addis expressed their happiness that their child would finally be able to receive the surgery they had been waiting for and the new measures implemented by PHE made them feel safe and secure despite the onset of the pandemic. The pilot also helped us identify the slight change in our patients’ needs, including increased nutritional supplementation and we are eager to address these needs and re-start out cleft programme with the highest standard of safety measures so we can help all of the patients who have been waiting for surgery during the pandemic.

- Amanuel Tafese, Executive Director of Project Harar Ethiopia 

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Chala and his son Moibon, before and after surgery