Reconstructive surgery, Kenya
Cleft lip and palate are congenital birth defects that seriously impair hearing, speech, chewing, and breathing. They also have a detrimental psychological impact on the child and his or her parents.
Approximately 10,000 infants are born with cleft lip and palate throughout East Africa each year.
There are only 20 reconstructive surgeons in East Africa, or one surgeon for every 10 milion people. Without treatment, children remain physically, psychologically, and socially disabled.
AMREF partnered with Smile Train, among other generous donors, as part of our continuing efforts to bring essential clinical and surgical services to remote and underserved regions in East Africa.
Main objectives of the program
- Provide reconstructive surgery services to rural populations through 150 district and mission hospitals in East Africa
- Train local surgeons in commonly-required reconstructive surgical techniques, as well as in pre-operative assessment, post-operative care, and prevention of disabilities
- Conduct operational research
- Perform 1,800 cleft surgical operations this year and an additional 300 reconstructive surgeries on children with similar disabilities
- Increase awareness about the availability of free surgery at the centers
- Inform communities about cleft treatment, reduce the stigma attached to the condition, and encourage affected individuals to seek treatment
- In 2009, we made more than 100 visits to 70 hospitals in 8 countries.
- Over 9,000 operations and over 2,000 free cleft surgeries were performed.
- In one year, we trained over 1,000 surgeons, doctors, nurses, and other health workers in this specialty.
- The Ministry of Health officials in all countries have given their full support to the program.
- The programs have expanded their role and now provide surgeries in a wider variety of specialties.
<< Back to Where we work
<< Back to Our work in Kenya