Mayrama fell ill with nomawhen she was aged just four years old. The disease left a gaping hole in her cheek, open to further infection, and her top teeth were lost. Determined to continue her education, she remained in school until second grade – but then discrimination from the school and village grew too much. Forced to drop out, she got a job selling chaat at the local market.
She made two trips to hospital with Project Harar. In 2008 surgeons operated on her face, dealing with the hole in her cheek and strengthening her top jaw. In 2009, she came back to Harar for further surgery to the inside of her mouth. However, Mayrama told surgeons that she didn’t need any more operations – instead, she asked for a set of false teeth to replace those ruined by noma, which were fitted just a few weeks later.
Our Ethiopian outreach team has kept contact with Mayrama, and we’re delighted to learn that she got married to a childhood friend in spring of this year. We wish her and her husband the best of luck for the future.
We raised a fantastic £47,870 during the Big Gi...
Listen to two BBC World Service interviews with Project Harar surgical teams from 2007. First up, an interview with Sissay Befikadu, who was in charge of the cleft programme at Yekatit-12 hospital. And secondly, an interview with Klaas Marck, a Dutch plastic surgeon and chair of the Dutch Noma Foundation.