Donate Form
Facing Africa Noma
Share This Page

In November 2004, the Dutch Noma Foundation sent its first surgical team to the Yakatat 12 Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to do facial reconstructive surgery on Noma patients.

This became an annual team visit and was funded by Facing Africa.

In October 2007, Facing Africa put together an all-British team of surgeons, anaesthetists and nurses who spent two weeks carrying out a variety of facial reconstructive operations in Addis Ababa. A second Facing Africa surgical team went to Ethiopia again in Oct 2008  and 2009. Since 2010, Facing Africa has sent two teams every year, usually in Feb and Oct which are made up of volunteers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Holland. Since 2010, all surgical missions operate at the MCM Korean Hospital in Addis (

Cheshire Home – Ethiopia

In March 2009 Chris & Terry  Lawrence spent a week in Ethiopia looking for a suitable facility in or near Addis Ababa where noma patients could be cared for 2 weeks prior to their operations and then followed by a further 4 – 6 weeks post operative wound care until they were completely free of any complications or infections. Prior to this, patients were brought to Addis from their villages 2 or 3 days before surgery and then sent home a few days after their operations. Needless to say this resulted in an unacceptable level of infections due to poor hygiene and post op’ wound care. It was agreed with the management of Cheshire Homes in Ethiopia that Facing Africa would use the existing facilities which had historically been used almost entirely for polio victims ( Our first intake of noma patients shared dormitories, dining facilities and the beautiful 30-hectare grounds at the Cheshire Homes in a village called Menagesha about 15 miles from the centre of Addis.


Facing Africa House at Menagesha

Facing Africa House at Menagesha

IMG_4750 IMG_7020 IMG_7185 P1010928


It soon became evident that with increasing numbers of noma patients needing pre and post op’ care, Facing Africa would have to build and fund its own dormitories, wash rooms, dining and recreation room and small clinic at the Cheshire Home. On 6th Oct 2010, the British Ambassador to Ethiopia officially opened the first phase of “Facing Africa House”. The second phase with a further 20 beds was opened in Oct 2012. Facing Africa sends a doctor and 2 experienced wound care nurses to the Cheshire Home for 8 weeks to cover the pre and post op’ care of the patients.

However, in spite of the fact that large numbers of Noma victims exist in Ethiopia, it is difficult to locate these tragic victims in remote areas of Ethiopia as their parents are still reluctant to bring their afflicted children forward when search teams scour the countryside and remote villages. We therefore depend on our small staff in Ethiopia to source patients through visits to remote areas, other charities with outreach facilities, hospitals who refer patients to Facing Africa, word of mouth, local radio and TV.

News & Events
Facing Africa October 2017 Mission video

Presenting Facing Africa October 2017 Mission video with a special thanks to Claire, our wonderful anesthetist, who managed to capture […]

Facing Africa on Savoo Search

We’re excited to announce Savoo Search, Save and Raise as our new fundraising partner, and we’d like to introduce you […]

God save “America” – America Molla – 3-year old Ethiopian girl with “noma”

This is America (the child with a blue necklace) with her brother, baby sister and her mum (Genet). No member […]

Recent Facebook Posts

Access to health care is often very poor in rural Ethiopia, partly due to physical isolation, but also related to the weak position of the issue within national priority setting. It is very likely, that Nyaluk, pictured below, has never been to hospital or undergone any medical treatment. None of her 4 children were born in the hospital. We will never be able to fully comprehend the feelings of our rural patients, feelings of people who have always lived with long established traditional laws, languages, dress, religion, sacred ceremonies, rituals, healers, and remedies. When they arrive to our care in Addis Ababa sometimes after days of journeying through the countryside, they are faced with the complete unknown: white people inspecting their faces, asking them questions they have never been asked before, trying to get them into routine of sleeping, showering and eating. People like Nyaluk are rarely given the opportunity to represent their own perspectives and understanding of their health and their views on the actions to be taken to improve it. We always ask our patients what they want, what they expect and how they FEEL about surgery. It is heart-breaking to see some of them walk away from a possibly life changing operation because they are so overwhelmed by it all. After spending most of her childhood and adult life with face affected by NOMA, getting married and having children, Nyaluk chose to have her surgery in May 2017 and October 2017. She is going to come back for revision in May 2018. Pictured below: Nyaluk before and after her surgery. ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

In Ethiopia hyenas live in close proximity to humans and will attack if the opportunity arises. The bite of the hyena is one of the strongest of any animal on earth and causes severe injuries to the bone and soft tissues of the animal’s victims. Samira and Asanti were both attacked by hyenas. Horrific injuries to their faces did not seem to affect their joyful spirit and ability to enjoy themselves, play, dance and laugh together. It was amazing to watch how their friendship developed while they were looked after in Facing Africa House in October 2017. Photo credit: Emily ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

Safe hands - Wassi and America, Facing Africa House, Cheshire, Menagesha. It takes a village to raise a child, it takes much more to save one <3 ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook