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Francis is a joyful 17-year-old from Kenya who needs $834 to fund urethroplasty surgery.

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May 17, 2022

Francis is a 17-year-old student who tries to live each day to its fullest as best he can. He lives together with his siblings, parents, and grandparents in their ancestral home. Francis’s mom works at a local tea farm, while his father takes on labor jobs to help provide for the family.

Francis was born with spina bifida, which is a spinal condition that occurs when the neural tube does not close all the way. Francis is part of the BethanyKids Hospital program and uses a Clean Intermittent Catheterization (C.I.C) to help regulate his bladder. A few months ago, Francis noticed a wound near the catheter site that made it difficult for him to use the C.I.C. A nurse referred him to the hospital for review and doctors there diagnosed the condition as a urethral fistula. The medical team determined that Francis will need to undergo surgery to heal.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Francis receive treatment. On May 18th, he will undergo urethroplasty surgery. AMH is requesting $834 to fund his procedure and related care.

Francis hopes to feel better soon and says, “It has been a struggle for me to perform C.I.C because of this wound.”

Francis is a 17-year-old student who tries to live each day to its fullest as best he can. He lives together with his siblings, parents, and...

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Francis's Timeline

  • May 17, 2022

    Francis was submitted by Robert Kariuki, Process Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • May 20, 2022

    Francis was scheduled to receive treatment at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital (BKKH) in Kenya. 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.

  • May 23, 2022

    Francis's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Francis is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Francis's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $834 for Francis'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?

Urethral stricture is the diagnosis that warrants a urethroplasty. Urethral stricture is caused by inflammation of tissue or the existence of scar tissue – either of which may result in constricting the urethra. Symptoms of urethral stricture include a weak flow of urine or a decreased volume of urine, urethral discharge, evidence of blood in semen or urine, discolouration of urine, inability to urinate, pain in the pelvic or lower abdominal area, pain or burning during urination, and urinary frequency/urgency.

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

This condition can make it difficult for an individual to work, especially for those involved in manual labour. The urgent and frequent need to urinate can cause complications in the workplace. There is also a level of pain and discomfort that can cause complications for the individual. There is also a risk that the patient will not be able to pass urine at all, leading to kidney failure.

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

Historically there are no serious social implications for urethral strictures in Kenya. Urethral strictures are sometimes a result of sexually transmitted illnesses, which do entail social stigma.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The surgery entails either removing the constricted portion of the urethra or enlarging it. A urethroplasty may also include the reconstruction of tissues surrounding the urethra. In such cases, tissues from the skin or mouth may be grafted to aid in the reconstruction. After surgery, a urethral catheter is implanted for two to four weeks following the procedure. The treatment typically lasts between three to six hours. Most patients can be discharged immediately following the surgery or within one day following the surgery.

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

The treatment is highly effective and the percentage of individuals who develop strictures following the treatment is very low. Patients are recommended to allow three to four weeks of recovery before returning to work, particularly for those involved in manual labour. For those working non physically intensive jobs, it is possible to resume working one to two weeks following the procedure. Once the urethra has healed properly, the catheter can be removed and the patient will resume normal urination.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Similar to most other surgeries, the pain is the most intense in the twelve hours immediately following the procedure but will decrease with time. By the following day, the pain should be at a comfortable level and for the next few days, the pain should remain a dull ache but nothing more. There is the possibility of a bladder spasm which would be indicated by sudden pain in the penis, pubic bone, or lower abdomen. A bladder spasm is pain caused by the catheter and can be treated with medicines. There is a small possibility of strictures returning but in such an event, only half of the cases report symptoms.

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

There are some tertiary care centres spread out in Kenya that offer this treatment. The difficulty, however, is securing a surgery date in a timely manner.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Alternatives to a urethroplasty include the widening of the urethra as done by a dilator. This can be performed by a doctor passing a small wire through the urethra and into the bladder. Unlike the urethroplasty, this procedure will gradually increase the size of the urethra as opposed to immediately. A second option is the insertion of a permanent urinary catheter. This is typically reserved for severe cases, especially because of the risk it poses for bladder irritation and urinary tract infections.

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100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Natan is a two-year-old boy from Ethiopia who loves music, cars, cartoons, and playing with other children. Both his mother and father unfortunately lost their jobs during the pandemic. After losing her accounting job, his mother now works at a factory. Natan's father stays home caring for him, but he is currently searching for a job as an electrician to supplement his wife's income. They all live together in a rental home. As of right now, family members and friends who know their story kindly help support them. Natan was diagnosed with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles remains undescended. If left untreated, Natan has an increased risk of developing hernias, testicular cancer, and fertility problems in the future. Due to the financial challenges Natan's family is currently experiencing, they are currently unable to fund their son's needed procedure. Fortunately, Natan will be receiving assistance from our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). He is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on August 23rd. AMHF is requesting $754 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Natan's father says, “I hope my child will be as healthy as other kids. I have hope that he will heal. Once he heals, I am ready to fulfill all my responsibilities for him. I love to teach him. I also want to work to support him with his hobbies, especially with music. I want to teach him to play at least one music instrument.”

6% funded

$704to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.