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Jonah is a 55-year-old mother from Tanzania who needs $219 to fund gynecological surgery to prevent cancer.

Jonah
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August 10, 2022

Jonah is a 55-year-old farmer from Tanzania. She is a mother to ten children, five of whom are still in school and the other five of whom are currently working. Jonah runs a small green grocery shop along the road where she sells vegetables to support her family. Her husband also works to support their family by practicing small-scale farming. However, her husband shares that farm production has gone down due to unpredictable seasons, which sometimes leave them with nothing to feed their family.

For three years, Jonah has been experiencing lower abdominal pain, abnormal discharge, and painful bleeding. She initially attempted to treat her symptoms with painkillers and antibiotics, but this became too expensive, so she began using local herbs instead. After seeing no change, she sought medical care and was diagnosed with multiple uterine myomas and a premalignant cervical lesion, meaning she has cells in her cervix that have the potential to develop into cervical cancer. She now must undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $219 to fund Jonah’s surgery. On August 11th, she will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner’s care center. Once recovered, Jonah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain.

Jonah says, “I surely know that I will get better and I will be relieved from pain after my operation.”

Jonah is a 55-year-old farmer from Tanzania. She is a mother to ten children, five of whom are still in school and the other five of whom ar...

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Jonah's Timeline

  • August 10, 2022
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Jonah was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • August 11, 2022
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Jonah was scheduled to receive treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale in Uganda. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • August 11, 2022
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Jonah's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Jonah is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Jonah's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

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Treatment
Total Abdominal Hysterectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $219 for Jonah's treatment
Hospital Fees
$126
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$17
Supplies
$59
Labs
$6
Other
$11
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Symptoms vary depending on the condition that requires the total abdominal hysterectomy. If the cause is cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancer, there may not be symptoms, especially if the cancer is early-stage. In more advanced cases of cervical and uterine cancers, abnormal bleeding, unusual discharge, and pelvic or abdominal pain can occur. Symptoms of ovarian cancer may include trouble eating, trouble feeling full, bloating, and urinary abnormality. If the cause is fibroids, symptoms may include heavy bleeding, pain in the pelvis or lower back, and swelling or enlargement of the abdomen.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Fibroids (tumors in the uterus) can grow large, cause abdominal pain and swelling, and lead to recurring bleeding and anemia. Cancer can cause pain and lead to death.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Cervical cancer is caused by a sexually transmitted infection called human papillomavirus (HPV), which can often occur alongside an HIV infection. As a result, cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among African women in areas of high HIV prevalence. Cervical cancer is also more prevalent in Africa than in the United States due to the lack of early-detection screening programs. The other conditions treated by a total abdominal hysterectomy are not necessarily more common in Africa.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

The patient first reports for laboratory testing. The following day, the patient undergoes surgery. After the operation, the patient stays in the hospital ward for three to four days, during which time she is continually monitored. The surgery is considered successful if the wound heals without infection, bleeding, or fever, and if the patient no longer experiences urinary dysfunction.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

In the case of uterine fibroids or early-stage cancer, a total abdominal hysterectomy is curative.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

If performed early enough, this surgery is low-risk and curative, with few side effects.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

This surgery is available, but many patients cannot afford it. Many women are screened for cervical cancer with a low-cost alternative to a pap smear. This is common in HIV treatment programs. If necessary, the woman is referred for surgery, which she often cannot afford.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

If cervical cancer is caught early enough, some minor procedures can solve the problem. Women with fibroids who still wish to have children may opt to undergo a surgery that only removes the fibroids, which is called a myomectomy.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.