Project information

Better Lives Oromia

We want to improve the health and life chances of 500 children in Oromia with head and facial illness, anomaly and injury. We will provide nutritional, medical and community support to help them and their families withstand the stigma and go on to live full and healthy lives.

January 2018 - December 2018

Charity information: Project Harar

Project Harar logo
  • Need


    Our beneficiaries are located in extremely isolated areas of Ethiopia with little basic healthcare and no access to surgery. They suffer from conditions such as Cleft Lip, Ameloblastoma, Noma, facial burns or trauma (eg from dog bites) the the face and neck. They go through their first years struggling to take in necessary nutrients as they can find it difficult to breastfeed. In 2016, 65% of our children under-5 were stunted or severely stunted due to not receiving enough food and nutrients.


    The key to improving the life chances of these children is to identify them early - in the first 5 years of life. This means that we can support them to stay healthy and access early medical treatment. We will give mothers supplements and training to understand how to better feed their babies: simple techniques delivered in groups to bring the mums together and consequently reduce social isolation.
    We then provide referrals into treatment or undertake it ourselves once the child is well enough

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve awareness of the conditions affecting head and neck so that children are treated.


    » Provide training for local healthcare workers and officials so that they know there is treatment. This will reduce the number of children abandoned
    » Support mums to understand that there is treatment so that they are able to withstand the stigma experienced and seek treatment for their child

    Our qualified and experienced staff will provide training for 100 health workers and midwives, (and in turn 500 mums), improving their knowledge & strengthening local healthcare.

    Aim 2

    Get the children well enough for treatment


    » Ensure that simple training is given to screen children for malnutrition
    » Refer malnourished or ill children (as a result of facial deformity/illness) to appropriate support such as feeding programmes or our own pre op team

    Children cannot undergo surgery until they are no longer malnourished and weigh at least 9kg. We will provide surgery for 500 children within one year.

    Aim 3

    Ensure the children receive appropriate medical/surgical treatment


    » Provide timely referrals to the right medical treatment (complex cases by us or a partner, more simple cases by our government hospital partners)
    » Ensure that the best quality surgical and medical treatment is given to the children and support post operatively.

    Within the 12 months of this project 500 children from poor, rurally isolated families in Oromia will be well enough to go on and receive medical or surgical treatment.

  • Impact


    Our beneficiaries act as a visual and powerful challenge to disability discrimination, and as a result the families, parents and communities benefit from increased social cohesion.
    By establishing solid partnerships with relevant government sectors we are ensuring we fulfil a need and proactively complement the healthcare structures already in place. We will demonstrate this with impact assessments, case studies and an evaluation of our work


    *Security Situation worsens, civil unrest or tension in areas of Ethiopia where we work. Likewise outbreaks of disease place strain on the health care system.
    *Drought or difficult weather
    Volunteers/staff of PHUK are involved in an incident or become unwell.
    We have a close working relationship with our local delivery team & defer to them for knowledge on the ground
    We take advice from and work closely with other NGOs
    Accept that this may impact on targets, have contingency plans in place.


    We would produce a report upon completion of the project and evidence success, lessons learned and how the work has impacted on our patients. We would do this through case studies, data analysis and impact statements from partners and family members of beneficiaries.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £140,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £46,200 Staff costs Staff costs to deliver training, triage referrals, arrange transport, support families and follow up
      £29,885 Transport Transport to and from treatment for patients and guardians
      £4,480 Food for patients Food for patients and guardians prior to, during and after treatments
      £14,200 medicines and medical supplies Medical supplies (suture, bandage, medicines)
      £36,735 Surgical and medical treatment Ward space, medical equipment, patient supplies, theatre costs (gowns, gloves, etc)
      £8,500 Medical equipment Fridges for keeping medicines cool, drills, distractors, anaesthetic machine for paediatrics
  • Background


    Oromia is the largest region of Ethiopia, with a population of 27,000,000 largely rurally located pastoralists. It is largely a poor area, only 32% of the population have access to safe drinking water. 19.9% of the inhabitants fall into the lowest wealth quintile; adult literacy for women 29.5% and healthcare is sparse with a high infant mortality rate (77/1000 live births). Transport is poor and our patients are very rurally isolated.


    Patients benefit from improved health and well being, after surgery 78% go to school, without surgery this is 28%.
    Families benefit once they have better knowledge of medical conditions, nutrition and they are better able to withstand the stigma attached to such conditions once they know about treatment. Local communities benefit from increased cohesion. Healthcare facilities benefit from training and resources that we supply as the learning transfers beyond just head and neck conditions.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Project Harar UK has been working in Ethiopia for 16 years. We have established reliable and trusting relationships with or delivery partners on the ground, they are all local staff and speak the local languages. They are all qualified and experienced. Our UK based staff are experienced in managing Surgical missions and our UK based medical volunteer teams are all professionally qualified, at the top of their professions, well respected and practicing full time in the NHS.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Prof Mark McGurk

    Medical director (trustee). Manages and advises medical networks and risks

    Victoria Clare

    Executive Director of UK charity. Co ordinates staff who manage the missions, Monitoring and evaluation and partners

    Aynalem Tefera

    Executive Director of Ethiopian delivery partner charity. Manages Ethiopian team and all logistics and partner hospital relationships