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Success! Elija from Malawi raised $733 to fund prostate surgery.

  • $733 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Elija's treatment was fully funded on June 8, 2017.

Photo of Elija post-operation

March 7, 2017

Elija underwent successful prostate surgery.

Elija had a successful TURP surgery, which was performed by a visiting urologic surgeon from Holland. Now he is feeling much better. The family was very thankful, and Elija is so happy to be able to go back to his farm.

He says, “I appreciate the Nkhoma staff and the Watsi program.”

Elija had a successful TURP surgery, which was performed by a visiting urologic surgeon from Holland. Now he is feeling much better. The fam...

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February 14, 2017

Elija is a 62-year-old man from the Central Region of Malawi. Elija lives with his wife, and together they have ten children and 23 grandchildren. Elija’s family owns a small farm. He likes to spend time with his many grandchildren.

For the past six months, Elija has experienced painful and difficult urinary symptoms. He was diagnosed with benign prostatic hyperplasia, or an enlarged prostate gland.

On February 15, Elija will undergo prostate surgery. When introduced to Watsi, Elija and his family were overjoyed. Our medical partner, World Altering Medicine, is requesting $733 to fund this life-changing operation.

Elija says, “I give thanks to Watsi, and I have hope that now my problem will come to an end.”

Elija is a 62-year-old man from the Central Region of Malawi. Elija lives with his wife, and together they have ten children and 23 grandchi...

Read more

Elija's Timeline

  • February 14, 2017

    Elija was submitted by Alison Corbit, Project Coordinator at World Altering Medicine.

  • February 14, 2017

    Elija received treatment at Nkhoma Hospital 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.

  • February 16, 2017

    Elija's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • March 7, 2017

    Elija's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • June 8, 2017

    Elija's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 8 donors

Funded by 8 donors

Colon / Prostate Resection
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $733 for Elija'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?

The primary condition treated with this surgery is benign overgrowth of the prostate, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Patients generally present with urinary symptoms, including difficulty or inability to pass urine, urination frequency, passing very small amounts of urine, or passing urine very slowly. Some patients experience pain when trying to pass urine.

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

Most Malawians live in rural areas, and a large percentage of them work as farmers. This is also true of our medical partner's patient population. When men are experiencing symptoms related to BPH, they often have a hard time working on their farms. They are therefore unable to support themselves and their families. Before receiving surgery, many men will have a catheter placed, which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Additionally, using a catheter for a prolonged period of time can lead to infection or trauma to the area.

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

Although experiencing symptoms associated with BPH is not commonly viewed as taboo within our medical partner's patient population, it is rarely discussed. Men can feel embarrassment about the condition and the impact it has on their lives. Some men experience psychological effects from the condition.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The standard treatment is a prostate resection, which is a fairly standard procedure. After the surgery, the patient will use a catheter for 14 days. Once the catheter is removed and the patient can pass urine freely, they can be discharged.

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

If the treatment goes smoothly, it is expected that healthy patients will make a full recovery and not relapse.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Although there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, the risks associated with a prostate resection are very low. However, as the patient population tends to be of older age, it is common that patients have other underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure. Patients who are candidates for this surgery are screened and monitored carefully. If a patient is found to have another health condition that could jeopardize their health during or after the surgery, that condition is addressed first.

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

In the area of our medical partner's treatment center, there is one central, public hospital. That hospital provides surgical services, but barriers exist. A patient requiring a hernia repair could be on a waitlist for years at the central hospital, or be sent home and told to return a number of times. For this reason, treatment can be very difficult to obtain at the public hospital. In addition to our medical partner's treatment center and the central hospital, there are private clinics that would provide this service, but at a high fee. Our medical partner's treatment center, Nkhoma, is a great option for patients because they are able to receive quality treatment.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Drugs can be used to relieve symptoms for a short period of time, but ultimately, surgery is the only treatment.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Beatrice is a student in the fourth grade but has been unable to continue with her studies since she her injury on her right hand. She lives with her parents and four siblings in a one room rental house. Her parents are part-time workers with an inconsistent income and cannot afford her surgery. They are relying on well-wishers to pay her medical bills. Beatrice sustained a burn on her right hand in early June. She accidentally slipped on boiling water as she was getting out of the bed and sustained serious burns on her right arm. She was admitted to Kiambu Level Five Hospital and stayed there for almost three months where a debridement and a skin graft was done but failed. Her mother shares that the wound has been discharging pus. She was reviewed at our medical partner Kijabe Hospital and doctors agreed that she needs several debridement and skin grafting sessions to save the hand from amputation. She is in pain and unable to use her hand and has not been going to school since she had the accident. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Beatrice receive treatment. On October 11th, surgeons will perform a debridement and skin graft procedure to aid in the healing of the wound and help her use the hand again. Now, Beatrice needs help to fund this $1,185 procedure. Beatrice's mother says, “My baby has not been attending school since the accident. Her hand has a foul smell, and it might be cut if not treated.”

54% funded

$543to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.