Cleft Lip and Facial Tumour Surgeries

Craniofacial tumors, cleft lip and cleft palate, and ear-nose-throat diseases are life-threatening conditions for children and adults throughout Africa.

An uncorrected cleft palate on young children and babies makes it difficult, if not impossible, to nurse or drink from a bottle. This can lead to further complications including malnourishment, hearing loss, trouble breathing and difficulty in early learning speech development. If untreated, the child not only suffers from a myriad of health issues but also can be ostracised from their community and may not attend school.

Even benign facial tumors that may start out small on a child can grow to such large and distorted size that for an adult can have detrimental effects on their ability to function as a normal member of the community. Left untreated, tumors can grow to the point of being life-threatening as a child struggles to breathe or eat, and render the victim a social outcast.

Our surgical teams identify those children we can help and provide the surgery so that they can function normally and be able to grow and thrive.

We are providing hope and a healthier future for these children.



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For baby Elisabeth, her start to life was vastly impacted when she was born with a cleft lip and palate. Her weight started to drop dramatically and her family feared for the life of their daughter.

When her family found Mercy Ships, they thought their prayers had been answered, but there were further struggles to ensure that this little underweight girl was strong enough to undertake the surgery.

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