Dr. Manoj Abraham and Dr. Dane Barrett co-led a Facial Plastics ENT teaching team with a Speech Therapy component to Mekelle, Ethiopia January 18 -26.
Dr. G (Gebrewahd) Alemu, a second year ENT resident at Mekelle University, Dr. Manoj Abraham, and Casey Saussy
A note from Dr. Kavita Aggarwal, wife of Dr. Manoj Abraham:
Friends, we wanted to thank those that donated to Minali’s fundraiser for Healing the Children. We raised $3,500 and provided pro bono medical services valued at about $2 million!
Loved working with this 21 member team which included Facial Plastic Surgeons, Anesthesiologists, Nurses, Speech Pathologists, and Administrators. This trip was especially meaningful in that it was also a teaching mission, with plans of developing a sustainable ENT Facial Plastics program-in fact colleague Dr. Josh Wiedermann instituted the very first ENT residency program here only 4 years ago. There are currently no Facial Plastics training programs in all of Ethiopia, so these services are desperately needed.
Thank you also to the wonderful staff at Ayder Hospital – they were so warm and welcoming and even threw us a going away party – we will miss you and the adorable babies of Ethiopia!
Dr. Kavita Aggarwal
|Dr. Kavita Aggarwal
|| Dr. Manoj Abraham, Dr. Kavita Aggarwal and Minali Abraham-Aggarwal
Kedija Hashim is an animated three year old child born with a cleft palate. Last year the HTCNE team repaired her palate but unfortunately the cleft had to be repaired once again so her mother brought her back this year to see the HTCNE team.
Merrym, Kedija’s lovely mother, shared her family’s story with us. They live a day’s drive away from Mekelle. Merrym and her husband have four children, Kedija and 3 older boys who stayed back with their father.
The family are refugees from Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. They fled Eritrea a year and a half ago and now live in a UNICEF refugee camp in Ethiopia. Merrym, who speaks several languages, said to our team, “thank you so much. I don’t know how to thank you. I am so grateful.” She said that if we don’t see her next year it will be because she has immigrated to another country in the hopes to make a new home for her family.
Michile Niguse is an adorable 10 year old boy with an infectious, happy smile. He suffered an avulsion of his right ear due to a hyena bite in September.
He was walking down from his house to bathe in holy water and he saw a hyena and ran. The hyena gave chase and bit his ear before a man scared it away.
Fortunately part of the ear was recovered. At that time, a surgeon inserted the cartilage under the skin behind his wound where it stayed until he could have the ear repaired. HTCNE’s surgeons harvested the cartilage and by using a skin graft were able to recreate the ear.
Lauren Yanks is a freelance writer and executive director of the Blue Butterfly Foundation, a charity that helps to educate and empower impoverished populations and victims of trafficking.
As a children’s advocate, Lauren has previously written about Healing the Children Northeast, helping tell the stories of the children we treat and our medical professionals who treat them.