Cleft lip and palate treatment mission in Somalia successfully completed

Nine days full of concentration and effort, but also full of joy and relief are over. Our doctors spent hours in the operating room during these days. The two Ethiopian doctors Dr. Samater and Dr. Abdinasir assisted our Bangladeshi partner surgeons Dr. Muhammad Quamruzzaman and Dr. Al Masum Ziaul Haque, who had again volunteered to help cleft children in Somalia. The doctors got along well right away, but they also shared a common goal during the mission: to help as many Somali children born with cleft lip and palate as possible. To do this, they got on the plane immediately after the end of the celebrations at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which are a very important occasion for Muslims, and set off for Garowe.

Impressions from Garowe: This is what the Somcare Hospital and the newly opened pharmacy with drugstore currently look like. An important contact point for our work on site for cleft patients.

We are pleased that our dedicated team was able to operate on 48 children and young people through a joint effort. Some of the patients have already received their second operation.

A great result, especially considering the difficult conditions our team faced. Many of the children registered, often children from poor nomadic families whose economic existence is currently threatened by drought, were malnourished and in poor health. Our doctors did not consider many of them safe to operate on and unfortunately had to send them home this time. We are all the more pleased that the team was able to enable so many other children to start a life without the burden of untreated cleft.

On the last day, Puntland Health Minister Said Jamac visited the Somcare Cleft Center in Garowe. The minister met with some of the recently operated cleft patients and their families. The minister then recognized our team for their commitment to those in need and their successful work. A nice recognition of the achievements, and therefore a very positive conclusion to our visit to Garowe!

We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to the Garowe cleft mission team: Ali, the president of our partner organization Somcare from Heidelberg, who is a tireless and well-connected organizer, our surgeons from Dhaka and Jijiga, all of our local nurses, laboratory staff etc. etc., and of course to our many donors who make this project possible!