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Abdimalik from Ethiopia

One of our latest projects for the treatment of children with cleft lip and palate is located in the city of Jijiga in the Somali region of Ethiopia. When we initiated the project, there was no local doctor who could perform the necessary operations. Our work in Jijiga therefore began in late 2022 with a visit from an international team. Highly experienced surgeons from our project country Bangladesh had agreed to actively support the development of the project as volunteers.

The rush of families seeking help was so great that we carried out the next mission in June 2023, this time with volunteers from Pakistan. The young Ethiopian surgeon Dr. Samater took part in both missions. He showed great interest in and talent for cleft surgery.

In October last year, Dr. Samater therefore travelled to our partner surgeon Prof. Ganatra in Pakistan for intensive training. Here he learned the specialist knowledge required to set up a permanent treatment program for cleft patients in Jijiga. The team he works with is made up entirely of local staff, with no foreign volunteers: a huge milestone for our project.

The local team starts working

In February, he has finally started providing operations in Jijiga. One-and-a-half-year-old Abdimalik is one of his first patients. Abdimalik has a bilateral cleft lip. He was operated on February 11. At his age, the surgical scar heals particularly well, and he will now be able to learn to speak much better with a closed lip: a good outlook for his future.

It is a great step forward for children with cleft lip and palate in this very poor region of Ethiopia to now have a permanent point of contact where they can receive qualified care at any time. We are very pleased to have found a surgeon like Dr. Samater, who will build the project with great passion.

This year, we will again do everything in our power to provide the best possible treatment for children with cleft lip and palate worldwide. Our goal is to provide some 8,000 operations this year – hopefully many of them in Ethiopia! Please support us in this endeavor. Your donation will give children the chance to live a better life.