Craniofacial tumours, cleft lip and cleft palate, and ear-nose-throat diseases are life-threatening conditions for children and adults throughout Africa. Where there is little or no access to health care services and specialised surgeries needed to deal with these maladies, Mercy Ships works to fill the void. Our surgical teams identify the patients we can help and then begin the process of transforming lives with free life-altering, lifesaving surgeries.
Cleft lips/palates are the number-one facial birth defect and the fourth most-common birth defect overall. It is a condition easily repaired, but babies born in the developing world have little option for corrective surgery. Cleft lip babies often suffer from malnourishment because they cannot suck or nurse properly. Children who do survive are often rejected. Mercy Ships has restored the smiles of thousands of children and adults.
Grotesque and disfiguring tumours are common in the developing countries of Africa. Often benign, the growths begin small but, left untreated, grow to life-threatening size and render their victims social outcasts. In onboard operating rooms, highly skilled surgeons perform thousands of free maxillofacial surgeries, transforming and saving lives from suffocation and starvation. With each individual life restored, the transformation is no less than miraculous.