Burkina Faso: Branded as witches, cleft lip children now see hope in Africa

Accused of witchcraft or sorcery, children with cleft lips or palates are often driven into hiding in several African countries, forced to live as outcasts unless they receive an early operation.

In the Suka clinic in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, a volunteer recounts the story of one young mother made to flee her village after giving birth to a “cursed child”.

Many parents hide such children — fearing they will be taunted or made into pariahs — due to the lack of available medical care.

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