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Facing Africa Noma
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Noma (cancrum oris) is an acute and ravaging gangrenous infection affecting the face. The victims of Noma are mainly children under the age of 6, caught in a vicious circle of extreme poverty and chronic malnutrition.

Facing Africa currently funds two teams of highly skilled and experienced volunteer surgeons from the UK, Germany, France and Holland to Ethiopia each year to perform complex facial reconstructive surgery on the victims of the disease noma. Each team is made up of 4 surgeons (plastic, maxillo-facial and cranio-facial), 3 anaesthetists, an anaesthetic assistant, 3 operating room nurses, 3 ward nurses, a doctor and 2 wound care nurses. Each surgical mission spends 2 weeks in Ethiopia and generally carries out 35 – 45 facial reconstructions. The cost of each mission is around £ 75,000 (US $ 120,000).

In addition to the surgery, Facing Africa also encourages local doctors, surgeons and nurses to attend lectures and presentations done by our volunteers in order to teach them new and better procedures and techniques. Ethiopian surgeons are invited to observe and assist during surgery. Facing Africa also donates surgical instruments, consumables and disposables to Ethiopian hospitals at the end of each mission.

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Massive thank you to Molnlycke Health Care for their generous donations of medical consumables and disposables! We would not be able to do our work in Ethiopia without all the socially conscious and responsible companies which continue to support us year by year! ... See MoreSee Less

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Mike who is documenting Abel's story and followed Abel's journey to recovery with Facing Africa has recently sent us a letter about his experiences.

I would to share some of his letter with you.

"When we arrived at Abel's village it was extremely moving. About 100 people had come to welcome him back and give gifts, crying and kissing him. They all believed he was dead. Abel was reserved and hid behind a scarf most of the time - I could tell he didn't want to be there and when it was time to leave they were ready in 5 seconds.

Back in Addis I went to his new home the next morning and saw something amazing. He was playing football with new friends, laughing, shouting, running around and without covering his face. It was a huge contrast to the day before. He has completely settled into his new life and the whole family have no intention of going back to the village where they have to relive the trauma of the attacks every day.

From my perspective I was impressed that the surgery on his leg had healed to the point where he could drop kick a football and tackle but also how his new friends had accepted the way he looks completely. Everyone in the area knows him and they are all very kind. Just seeing him laughing like normal little boys do, enjoying a lolly, talking to his Dad about the future - this had all seemed very unlikely just a few months before.

When you return to Ethiopia I hope you get to see the same side of the effects your work with Abel has had. Even in these early stages it really is a wonderful thing to see".

Photo: Kidist visiting Abel and his mother in their new home in Addis Ababa.
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