Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe in Ethiopia & Somalia
In 2020, the initiation of our cooperation with the aid organization Somali Medical Care e. V. (Somcare) was the beginning for our help for cleft children from the Somali settlement region. In Somalia, the Somalis make up the majority of the population. They also live in the neighboring areas of Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe is currently active in Somalia and Ethiopia.
Focal points of our work
The project is currently in the start-up phase and there is no permanent local medical team yet. Our aid in Ethiopia and Somalia has so far been based on missions with international teams from our network of international partners. 2022 was our first year of activity. In March, our first relief operation took place in Garowe, the capital of Puntland in Somalia, supported by a team from India. In late 2022, a team from Bangladesh first operated on 73 cleft patients in Jijiga, the capital of the Somali Region in Ethiopia, followed by another 40 children in Garowe. The next mission to Jijiga took place at the end of June 2023. With the support of our partners from Pakistan, we were able to perform 53 operations. 51 of these patients were children. 15 of them had already received their first surgery from us in late 2022 and now received their second surgery. Our goal is to train at least one local surgeon in cleft surgery in the next few years who will then be able to independently treat children with cleft at our project locations in Ethiopia and Somalia.
The majority of Somalis are nomads who roam the lowlands of the Horn of Africa with their livestock. To reach them, targeted public relations and education work is essential. Developing the structures for this is another top priority.