Melesh is a playful and smiley four year old girl who lives with her mother, two brothers and one sister in Ethiopia. She is the youngest of the four children, and loves going to school. Melesh’s older siblings have finished high school, but did not proceed to university, and are currently unemployed. Her mother - who is divorced from Melesh’s father - makes and sells traditional beverages for a living. Her mom shared that their family does not receive any support from the father.
Melesh was born with a rare, congenital anomaly, called bladder exstrophy. As a result of this condition, the abdominal wall doesn’t fully form as the bladder is developing, leaving the pubic bones separated, and the bladder exposed to the outside surface of the skin. Urine leaks directly into Melesh’s abdomen, so that she suffers from infections and other symptoms. In fact, Melesh has stopped going to school because the other children insult her because of her condition. Melesh’s mother is worried, as Melesh has isolated herself to avoid being stigmatized by the community.
Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is seeking $1,500 to fund the Mainz Pouch procedure which if successful, should enable Melesh to pass urine normally. Surgery is scheduled for May 16th at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre, and should allow Melesh to resume the life of a happy and healthy four year old.
Melesh’s mother said: “I will educate her once she gets the surgery and heals. I will work on keeping her clean. I hope she will be content and healthy.”