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Success! Sharon from Tanzania raised $765 to fund hydrocephalus treatment.

  • $765 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Sharon's treatment was fully funded on February 20, 2021.

Photo of Sharon post-operation

February 22, 2021

Sharon underwent hydrocephalus treatment.

Sharon had a successful VPS insertion surgery, which helped relieve the pressure that had built up in her head. As a result of this surgery, Sharon was spared of potential brain damage and potential death if her condition had deteriorated. After the surgery, Sharon was stable, and when she was discharged home she was feeding well and her shunt was working properly. Her mom was relieved that her head had already began to reduce in size. After the surgery Sharon’s mother said, “My baby is now doing much better and all thanks to your help and support in helping treat her, God bless you.”

Sharon had a successful VPS insertion surgery, which helped relieve the pressure that had built up in her head. As a result of this surgery,...

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January 4, 2021

Sharon is a sweet 2-month-old baby from Tanzania. She is the youngest in a family of three children. Her mother used to sell fish, but had to pause her business due to the COVID pandemic.

Sharon has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Sharon has been experiencing an increasing head circumference and without treatment, Sharon will experience severe physical and developmental delays.

However, Sharon’s family cannot afford the cost of her care. Sharon’s grandfather was recently the victim of a hit-and-run accident, and her mother used all of her savings from her fish business to pay for his medical bills. Sharon’s father was also in a motorbike accident recently, so their family is feeling the pressure of hard times and appeal for financial support.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Sharon that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th and will drain the excess fluid from Sharon’s brain. This will reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Sharon will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl.

Sharon’s mother shared, “Please help save my daughter. We have no means of raising the money needed for her surgery.”

Sharon is a sweet 2-month-old baby from Tanzania. She is the youngest in a family of three children. Her mother used to sell fish, but had t...

Read more

Sharon's Timeline

  • January 4, 2021

    Sharon was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • January 4, 2021

    Sharon received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. 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.

  • January 5, 2021

    Sharon's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 20, 2021

    Sharon's treatment was fully funded.

  • February 22, 2021

    Sharon's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 16 donors

Funded by 16 donors

Hydrocephalus alone
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $765 for Sharon'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 of hydrocephalus include an enlarged head size, irritability, abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and increased intracranial pressure. Cognitive development can be affected, and damage to the optic nerve can cause blindness.

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

In young children, hydrocephalus affects brain development, cognition, and vision. In older children and adults, hydrocephalus also causes headaches.

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

The burden of infant hydrocephalus in East Africa is significant, with more than 6,000 new cases estimated per year. The majority are caused by neonatal infection and vitamin deficiency, and should thus be preventable. In East Africa, the single most common cause of hydrocephalus is infection, usually via neonatal meningitis or ventriculitis. Neonatal sepsis is common and is exacerbated by the lack of skilled perinatal care for the majority of births in Africa.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Hydrocephalus patients are usually treated within a few days of arriving at the hospital. Fortunately, our medical partner can accept many patients who would otherwise go home if they could not afford the surgery cost. Treatment involves inserting a shunt into the brain to route cerebrospinal fluid to another part of the body. One month after surgery, the patient returns for a follow-up appointment.

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

This surgery is lifesaving. The patient will no longer be at risk of cognitive and vision damage. Surgical treatment for hydrocephalus can restore and maintain normal cerebrospinal fluid levels in the brain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable, though the outcome depends on how quickly the disease is identified and treated.

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

There are few quality care centers in the region. Hospitals lack adequate resources and expertise to treat this condition. With about one neurosurgeon per 10,000,000 people in East Africa, initial treatment for hydrocephalus is often unavailable.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Surgery is the only option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Aidah is a small-scale farmer and a mother of six. Aidah's husband works around their village getting daily jobs as much as he can. They own a four-room semi-permanent house for shelter. Aidah's first born is now 38 years old and married, and her youngest is 18 years old and close to completing school. Aidah and her family have received aid from a church fund to help meet their daily needs. Since October 2021, Aidah has been experiencing lower abdominal pains. She was initially treated for gastric ulcers and typhoid, but there was no significant improvement. Aidah later developed further complications and rushed to a doctor who did tests and ultimately recommended a surgery that Aidah could not afford. This condition has prevented Aidah from working on her farm. Aidah traveled to our medical partner's care center, Rushoroza Hospital, and has been diagnosed with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. If not treated, Aidah risks developing cancer of the cervix that could affect her life in the long run. She needs to undergo a hysterectomy, a procedure in which surgeons will remove her uterus. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $319 to fund Aidah's surgery. On June 7th, Aidah will undergo gynecological surgery at our medical partner's care center. Once recovered, Aidah will be able to resume her daily activities free of pain. Aidah shared, “I pray for a successful surgery so that I may live a normal life once again. I hope to resume farming in order to continue taking good care of my family.”

15% funded

$269to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.