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Success! Joana from Malawi raised $1,363 to fund a hysterectomy.

  • $1,363 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Joana's treatment was fully funded on September 13, 2021.

Photo of Joana post-operation

August 11, 2021

Joana underwent a hysterectomy.

Joana had a successful surgery to remove her uterine mass, and the medical team expects that she will stop experiencing uncomfortable symptoms and can now lead a normal life. ​The surgery also reduced the chances of the mass becoming malignant. Joana progressed very well post-operatively, and she was discharged home. Joana was very grateful for the surgery. She said that when fully recovered, she is optimistic that she’ll be able to strengthen her performance as a teacher and will be able to play with her grandchild that she is expecting soon.

“I am grateful to Watsi for the financial support. Now that I have received this treatment, I can be an even better teacher,” said Joana while posing with a big smile for a picture.

Joana had a successful surgery to remove her uterine mass, and the medical team expects that she will stop experiencing uncomfortable sympto...

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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 received 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.

  • August 11, 2021

    Joana's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • September 13, 2021

    Joana's treatment was fully funded.

  • 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.


San is a 41-year-old woman who lives with her husband, daughter, and son in Burma. Her children are students, but the schools are closed due to a COVID-19 outbreak and teachers' strike against the military coup earlier this year. San and her husband rent land and grow sesame and sunflowers. They shared that their income last year from selling their harvest was about 1,500,000 kyat (approx. $1,500 USD) for the year, which is only enough to cover their daily expenses and basic health care. Unfortunately, the rainy season was late this year, and they could not grow any sesame as a result. San's family is worried about the impact this will have on their income and their family. Starting in May, San felt tired and developed a fever, so she visited the local clinic and received medication for her symptoms. While her fever reduced, she still felt tired, and her heartbeat increased. Three days later, her son developed a fever and also went to the local clinic. While there, San was able to share more about her condition with the clinicians. The doctor listened to her heart, gave her an injection and medication, and told her to come back if she continued to feel unwell. That night, San experienced heart palpitations and could not sit or lie down for long periods. On May 29th, she visited the Magway General Hospital, where she received oxygen, an injection, a blood test, and an electrocardiogram (ECG). Doctors also recommended an echocardiogram and a chest x-ray, which she received in follow-up care on May 31st. After reviewing the results of her tests, the doctors shared that San's heart valve does not work well and suggested meeting with a cardiologist for further testing. While the military coup made it challenging to find a cardiologist, San visited her brother's town for treatment. After further testing, a cardiologist diagnosed San with mitral valve stenosis and told her that she needed surgery to replace a damaged heart valve. Currently, San feels tired and suffers from heart palpitations when she walks short distances and cannot lie down for long periods. Fortunately, San was referred to our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), to help afford her surgery. On October 3rd, San will receive treatment, and BCMF is requesting $1,500 to help directly fund her procedure. San said, “I would like to get better soon because my family had to try hard to borrow enough money for my treatment. This year, we will not be able to earn a profit from our farm. This year is very difficult for everyone. I would like my daughter and son to finish their studies. I would like to work hard for my family’s future. After I recover from my operation, I want to open a shop in my village to earn more money. I will try to send my daughter and son to school until they graduate. Thank you so much for supporting the cost of my surgery.”

89% funded

$160to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.