Our Work in Ethiopia
With rapid population growth, the need for accessible cleft care in Ethiopia is increasing. TF has long partnered nationally to move sustainable cleft care forward.
Cleft Care in Ethiopia Today
Ethiopia is Africa's second most populous country, yet access to comprehensive care is limited to a few hospitals in the central region. National priorities for healthcare also focus on communicable diseases that burden the system, leading to cleft being underserved. Many families are not aware of cleft as a condition and beliefs around the cause of the condition can create social stigmas.
Transforming Faces is partnering to advance access to Comprehensive Cleft Care in key hubs and ensure that ongoing care is attainable for families living outside the capital city.
- Population: 123,300,000
- Capital: Addis Ababa
- Below Poverty Line: 31%
- Cleft Incidence: 4,000+/year
Comprehensive Cleft Care is limited to Addis Ababa and Jimma meaning families must travel very long distances and face lost wages to access care.
Regional conflicts have made community outreach a difficult task. Travel between certain regions can be unsafe for community workers and families.
Speech therapy has long been a challenge with few qualified practitioners available in Ethiopia; the tide is turning on this with the first speech therapy master’s candidates graduating in 2024.
Ethiopia: The Context of Cleft Care
Accessible cleft care in Ethiopia is complex. 80% of Ethiopia’s 120 million people live in rural settings. In this video, hear from families who have accessed Comprehensive Cleft Care as a result of our long-term partnership with Yekatit 12 Hospital.
Patients received CCC treatment in Ethiopia through one of our local partner centres
Speech therapy treatments were provided in 2022
Families received transportation assistance to attend Comprehensive Cleft Care appointments
Stories from Ethiopia
Uriel was born in Debre Markos, a small city in the Amhara region of Ethiopia. That he is now a thriving, healthy 1-year-old had almost been beyond hope for his mother, Aynalem. She had never heard of cleft lip and palate and believed, along with her community, that his condition must have been a burden…
Five years ago, Kalid was born with a cleft lip and palate in West Haraghe, a region of Ethiopia over ten hours away from the capital of Addis Ababa. His family did not know who to turn to for support and his ability to speak clearly and participate in school was limited as a result.…
You’re listening to Caring for Cleft, an audio series product to you by the team at Transforming Faces. Caring for Cleft tells stories of comprehensive cleft care around the world. Episode 4: CLEFT SURGERY IN EAST AFRICA – PROGRESS TO CELEBRATE! Episode Overview: 20 years ago, treatment options for children born with cleft in a…
In Ethiopia, cleft lip and palate continues to by highly stigmatized. In many communities, a cleft is still believed to be the result of a curse! Services can be scarce, and TF’s long-time partner, Yekatit 12 Hospital has been the only centre delivering comprehensive cleft care in the country of over 100 million people. Thanks…
Six-year-old Sara is receiving life-changing cleft care, thanks to Transforming Faces’ Ethiopian partner, and our generous supporters! Today she is thriving – but things were not always easy. Her mother shares Sara’s journey with us. Remembering the day Sara was born Sara and her family live in a small village called Nazareth – over 80km…
A Critical Demand for Speech Services In Ethiopia – a country of over 100 million – about 1 in every 600 babies is born with a cleft lip and palate. Children born with cleft commonly develop speech and communication problems, even after their repair surgery, and require regular, long-term speech therapy to learn to communicate…
Our Partners in Cleft Care
TF has been supporting partners in Ethiopia since 2007.
Our Partnerships in Ethiopia
- Yekatit 12 Hospital & Medical College, Addis Ababa
- CURE Ethiopia Children's Hospital, Addis Ababa
- Operation Smile Ethiopia / Jimma University Medical Centre, Jimma
- Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration / Addis Ababa University