Ethiopia: Paediatric Reconstructive Surgery

Programme Coordinator: Professor Bernard Pavy, plastic surgeon and On-site Coordinator: Professor Mitiku Belachev, Belgo-Ethiopian general surgeon

Of facial birth defects, cleft lip and cleft palate are by far the most common and they occur in Ethiopia in 1 out of 700 births. Often seen as a curse and a source of shame for parents, this can lead to the child’s social exclusion. This work takes place within the context of larger missions organized under the auspices of Belgian doctors (Professor Vanwijck) and more globally, general paediatric surgery.

dsc 1142


  • To operate on Ethiopian children suffering specifically from cleft lip, facial abnormalities and burn sequelae 


La Chaîne de l’Espoir’s missions are conducted in Mekelle and at the Dil Chora Referral Hospital in Dire Dawa to the east of Addis Abeba.

  • Operation on burn sequelae
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Flap surgeries 
  • Organ transplants
  • Scar revision
  • Developing endoscopic surgery

Training is assured during these missions, focusing on mentorship of local surgeons