A country that has seen much sorrow, but promises a brighter future.
83 million population
55 average life expectancy
78% of population living off less than $2 a day
2.6 number of surgeons per 100,000 people
- free cleft surgeries
- partner hospitals
- active partner surgeons
Agriculture is the main source of income for Ethiopians, but severe conditions, periodic drought, famine and civil disputes destroy many families’ livelihoods. It is, nevertheless, one of the only African countries that is both non-oil dependent and has a growing economy.
Life for children in Ethiopia is especially hard. Infant mortality rates are high and millions of children in Ethiopia have been orphaned by AIDS and forced live on the streets.
Cleft patients who have been helped by Smile Train partner hospitals come from all over Ethiopia. The children and their families come from villages that do not have roads and they travel by foot - walking hundreds of miles across the country with some families from as far as 700 miles away due to the shortage of trained cleft surgeons in the country. Often times, the hospitals offer housing in nearby lodges to relatives as they wait for their children’s surgeries and recovery.
With an added emphasis on training more qualified surgeons and pilot patient transportation programs, Smile Train partners in Ethiopia continue to help more and more children receive free cleft repair surgery.