Project information

2017 Complex Medical Mission to Ethiopia

Every year Project Harar recruits a team of 25 highly experienced volunteer medics; surgeons, doctors, anaesthetists and nurses to work in Ethiopia. Over the course of 8-10 weeks they treat over 50 Ethiopians, all suffering from complex facial disfigurement and predominantly children.

April 2017 - July 2017

Charity information: Project Harar

Project Harar logo
  • Need


    In rural and poor urban areas within Ethiopia there are many people with serious facial deformities and illnesses such as Noma, Trismus, tumours, gun shots, burns and damage to the face and neck. These conditions often impact on the person's ability to eat, drink, breath or speak. They reduce life expectancy. There is huge social stigma and very little resource and expertise available to treat these people. We treat the patients, improve their lives and strengthen local healthcare systems.


    Each time we successfully operate on a patient they are able to reintegrate back into society and it reduces the stigma attached to disability. Our work exponentially improves the life chances of our patients and their families.
    We provide training to local healthcare workers and work in partnership with Ethiopian surgeons to give them new surgical techniques. By providing a full team of experts, we are able to treat around 50 patients with no hope of treatment otherwise.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To treat at least 50 patients during our 2017 Complex Mission


    » Sourcing of world class medical teams specialising in maxillofacial and plastic surgery of the head and neck.
    » Work in partnership with an Ethiopian Government hospital - specifically Yekatit 12 hospital.
    » Work with our local staff on the ground to identify and transport appropriate patients to Addis Ababa for surgery.
    » Provide appropriate pre operative and post operative support.

    We will see at least 70 patients over the course of 2 surgical weeks and operate on at least 50 people.

    Aim 2

    To build the capacity of the Ethiopian healthcare system by offering training and expertise.


    » Work in partnership with Ethiopian surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses to increase knowledge within our specialist area
    » Ensure that cases are written up, with findings disseminated for future reference, both inside our charity and with others - particularly in Ethiopia

    Through providing a diverse and up to date training program, free to access for Ethiopian medics. Also by partnering with Yekatit 12 Government Hospital for the surgery

    Aim 3

    To challenge the stigma attached to disability and facial deformity


    » To fully support our patients to fully integrate back in to society.
    » To disseminate case studies challenging discrimination against the disabled and deformed so that people see the potential of the individual

    Through questionnaires undertaken by our patients and by collecting feedback from family members, teachers and community leaders. By following up on our patients annually.

  • Impact


    The reduction of stigma towards disability and deformity at community level. We ask our previous patients, relatives, community leaders and local officials for feedback.
    Improvement within the local healthcare systems and partner hospital. Measured through feedback on our training program by medics that attend. Also, through seeing improved processes and surgical output annually
    Increase in self esteem and life chances of our patients. Measured by follow up interviews and tracking outcomes.


    Under resourcing/lack of supplies in the Ethiopian Hospital - by ensuring that we source all the medical supplies necessary to make the mission successful.
    Political or civil unrest - through advance planning and having an awareness of potential issues. Maintaining flexibility in our planning and having contingency plans.
    Lack of funding - starting to fund raise well in advance of the project start date.
    Outbreaks of infectious disease - good awareness and having control measures in place


    Through our active social media pages and via our website. We also personally thank any donors who are engaged as stakeholders within the organisation.
    We will provide information in our annual report and through emails.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £160,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £19,000 Pre Op centre Pre operative centre, food and supplies for up to 70 initial patients plus guardians
      £18,000 Post operative centre Post operative centre for 50 patients plus 25 - 30 guardians, food and supplies
      £36,500 Medical team (international) Flights, food, accommodation for 25 medics over the course of 8-10 weeks
      £21,000 Medical equipment Medical equipment and servicing/maintenance of existing medical equipment (drills etc)
      £28,000 Medical supplies Dressings, medicines, sutures, gloves, scrubs etc for 8-10 weeks (inc pre, surgical and post op)
      £11,500 Ethiopian staff team Apportionment of Ethiopian staff team wages and costs that are directly related to the Project
      £18,000 In country transport Patient transport to Addis and home plus all ambulances and staff transport to and from surgery
      £8,000 Tests Blood tests, screening, xrays and OPGs on up to 70 initial patients

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    UK medics £10,000 Conditional
    Various medical supply companies £12,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Patients come from across Ethiopia. They will be identified by our (in country) outreach workers and local healthcare officials who are already aware of the work the Project Harar does. The main bulk of our patients come from the poorest areas of Afar, East & West Herarghe, Somali region and East and West Shewa as well as SNNPR region. We have some patients from very poor areas of Addis Ababa. The pre and post operative centres would be near to Addis and the hospital is Yekatit 12 in Addis


    Directly, poor patients predominantly from very poor rural and urban areas of Ethiopia. Their families also benefit because post surgery they are able to go to school or get jobs.
    The staff in the partner hospitals also benefit through enhanced training opportunities provided by our top surgeons and doctors.
    The UK medics sometimes benefit from learning new techniques that they can bring back and use in practice in their work at home. EG burns cases, which we see less in the UK

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have a long history of delivering exactly this work. For the last 5 years we have run an annual mission, all of our team have experience of working in developing countries under difficult circumstances and also have extensive experience of working in the NHS (or US/European) healthcare systems to develop specialist techniques and knowledge.
    Our UK office is skilled at managing the necessary logistics and the Ethiopian Office manages a great staff team which covers the ground in Ethiopia

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Professor Mark McGurk

    Medical Director, Trustee, Lead surgeon. He leads surgical procedures and ensures that the surgical and medical element of the project is excellent

    Aynalem Tefera

    Ethiopia Country director. Ensures that we build appropriate networks at community level within Ethiopia to identify and support appropriate patients

    Victoria Clare

    Charity Director. Manages the UK team, logistics, ensures good communication between all stakeholders and sets the budgets, sources the funding

Complex Mission Video

Thank you. Thank you so much for giving my child this chance at life, this help from the doctors means she will live longer and be happy, it gives her a chance - but before she didn't have any chance.

Parent of 4 year old patient