Speech and Language Therapy is a crucial part of the post-operative care we offer our cleft patients. Around half of all children with a cleft palate need some form of speech and language therapy at some point in their early life. In addition, if a cleft lip or cleft palate is not repaired early enough, it can impair speech and language development and lead to problems including unclear or nasal-sounding speech when a child is older. This further excludes and isolates them from society.

We are working in partnership with Transforming Faces to provide speech therapy for patients who have received treatment for their cleft lip and palate. We recently trialled a pilot project to train community health workers in speech therapy for cleft children, like Misrak Abebe:

I worked for similar projects for several years and that didn’t conduct speech therapy for children. Project Harar came up with this, and it is very important and a new change in the area. 

This addition to our programme is the first of its kind in Ethiopia. The work carried out by Project Harar continues to bring visible positive change to the lives of children, allowing them to speak clearly and express themselves independently. The contribution of speech therapy is an important aspect of the comprehensive care we offer our cleft patients.  

Case Study: Abraham

Before therapy, Abraham had a problem with his speech. This was also seen to be negatively affecting his performance at school. However, thanks to our team providing him with crucial speech therapy, Abraham’s communication has now improved and his speech is becoming much clearer.

Abraham practicing speech with his therapist Abraham and his speech therapist who is taking notes