Parents of children with cleft may struggle to feed their newborn successfully - even health professionals may lack training on how to counsel parents. The rising cost of grain in Ethiopia and Uganda burdens families, while in Madagascar, climate-change-fueled drought has limited crop yields.
Access to medical care in low-income contexts is a persistent challenge leading families to embark on lengthy and sometimes dangerous treks to the nearest well-equipped centre.
Access to appropriate accommodation in Costa Rica and Madagascar allows families to stay together during their child’s cleft treatments. In Uganda, TF provided families with fully subsidized transportation 1,639 times in 2022.
Did you know?
Children who are not yet a healthy weight cannot access surgery until this nutritional challenge is addressed. Significant delays in surgery are costly, as they can limit a child’s rehabilitative progress for the rest of their lives.
Linda’s Cleft Care Journey
Cleft Care in Focus
Additional Supports and more
When Brenda learned that she was expecting her first child, she and her husband could hardly wait. Their baby would be the first grandchild within the family -an honour!
During delivery, Brenda learned she would need a C-section. A nerve-racking, but successful process. Moments later, the mood changed from happiness to shock. Her daughter Linda had been born with cleft palate.
Thankfully, the hospital was able to quickly refer Linda to Transforming Faces’ partner, CoRSU Hospital.
Due to pandemic restrictions in 2022, public transit was not operating. With the support of Transforming Faces donors, private transportation for baby Linda and the family was arranged to make the 300km journey to CoRSU.
On arrival, Linda was admitted for two weeks into the nutritional ward. Infants with cleft often struggle to breastfeed, so, Brenda, her husband, and both grandmothers received counselling for meeting Linda’s nutritional needs.
For the family's return to home, they received high protein milk, sunflower seed oil, sugar and porridge flour to ensure Linda would continue to gain weight. Recently, she underwent a successful first surgery and soon will begin speech therapy.
Reflecting on her experience so far, Linda’s mother shares:
“I want to thank the donors. The treatment of my child would not have been possible without your generosity!”
Thank you to TF staff, partners and volunteers for photos featured in this report and to Sahil Ali for additional film and photography. Visual design by Jessica Orduz.
Edited by Kristian Wykes
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