Shalo is a nine-month-old infant from Ethiopia living with an imperforate anus. An imperforate anus is a type of anorectal malformation, where the malformed rectum threatens to complication normal bowel movements. An anorectal malformation is discovered upon birth, and is often accompanied with spinal or heart complications as well.
Depending on the severity of the malformation, those with an imperforate anus can have chronic constipation, or in more serious cases, may need an emergency colostomy. Shalo was one who needed to have an emergency colostomy due to obstruction of his bowels. Since then he has been unable to independently pass stool, and is exposed to further colostomy complications such as leakages, infection, or obstruction.
Shalo is the third child born to his family. His father works as a laborer, and makes approximately $2.40 per day. Since birth, Shalo has needed full time care, and his mother has stayed at home to take care of him and his siblings. With the reduced income, saving for the needed procedure has been difficult. “All I need is my boy to get the treatment and be healed,” says Shalo’s mother. “Then I can get back to my work and help support my family too.”
Shalo needs a posterior sagittal anorectoplasty to surgically reposition the rectum and anus and better allow for regular bowel movements. After the surgery, a colostomy opening will be created to allow recovery from the anorectoplasty. Then, two to three months later, a colostomy closure will be done to complete the process.
Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, tells us that for $1,500, Shalo can have the posterior sagittal anorectoplasty and colostomy closure he needs. The total cost includes the antibiotics, imaging, and inpatient stay. After his recovery, he is expected to be able to independently pass stool and allow his mother to return to work.