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Joana is a hardworking teacher from Malawi who needs $1,363 to fund a hysterectomy.

  • $1,125 raised, $238 to go
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June 4, 2021

Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching because it makes her feel young and energetic. Joana is also a mother of two children of her own, ages 29 and 27.

In March 2021, Joana visited a local clinic for a routine check-up and was diagnosed with a uterine mass. A total abdominal hysterectomy, or a procedure where both the uterus and cervix are removed, was recommended as treatment. If her condition is not treated, Joana is at risk of becoming severely anemic. After the surgery, it is expected that Joana will no longer experience the uncomfortable symptoms associated with her condition.

Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Joana to receive treatment. On June 5th, surgeons at AMH’s care center will perform a hysterectomy. Now, Joana needs help to fund this $1,363 procedure.

Joana shared, “I will soon be a grandmother and I want to be in good health so I can play with my grandchildren the way I play with learners at school. I appreciate your support to have this uterine mass removed.”

Joana is a 50-year-old primary school teacher from Malawi. She teaches a class of more than 80 children. She shared that she loves teaching ...

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Joana's Timeline

  • June 4, 2021

    Joana was submitted by Beatrice Njoroge, Curative Medical Support Program Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • June 5, 2021

    Joana was scheduled to receive treatment at Partners in Hope Medical Center in Malawi. 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.

  • June 9, 2021

    Joana's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Joana is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Joana's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,363 for Joana's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • 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 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?

Most cervical cancer is caused by an 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 common 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 she is continually monitored. The surgery is considered successful if the wound heals without infection, bleeding, or fever, and if the patient does not experience 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 only to remove 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.