FaceForward began in 2021, and is currently fundraising to kick-start activity. The project focuses on maxillofacial surgery and oral health among the refugee population in Jordan. The project is led by Dr Shadi Basyuni, a maxillofacial trainee at Cambridge University Hospitals.

In Jordan:

  • There are 761,100 registered refugees (not including the Palestine refugees under UNRWA’s mandate)
  • Of this 87% of refugees live in urban areas whilst 17% live in three camps – Zaatari, Azraq and Emirati Jordanian Camp.

Many of these refugees have fled war and armed conflict. As a result, a large number have devastating injuries caused by explosives, shrapnel and blast injuries that often require maxillofacial surgery. Chemical warfare, prevalent during the ISIS period, has been linked to a higher incidence of cleft lip and palate among children.

Furthermore, much of the refugee population has poor access to oral health care, and it is estimated that 75% of 6-year-old Syrian refugees have untreated dental caries, that can lead to serious infection. Researchers have also noted that head and neck cancers in countries in the Middle East tend to present at a more advanced stage.

How FaceForward is responding:

  • By addressing major facial disfigurements/deformities in the refugee population through surgery, enabling refugees to return to a better quality of life.
  • By providing basic dental care and oral health education.
  • By establishing a collaborative partnership between Cambridge and Jordan and promote the full scope of oral and maxillofacial training in Jordan.
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The team are fundraising £12,500.

This money will enable 5 refugees to have life changing surgery for major facial disfigurements/deformities. Working in partnership with Jordanian healthcare professionals, the team will exchange ideas for improving the oral health of refugees, promote multidisciplinary team working, and advocate maxillofacial training in Jordan.