B. Kuma, a beautiful and adorable six-month-old girl, lives about 500 kilometers from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Her parents are poor farmers and their income is not enough to feed the family well. Thus far, B. Kuma has been fed exclusively on breast milk.
B. Kuma was born with an anorectal malformation called imperforate anus, which means she has no opening where the anus usually should be. As a result, she cannot pass stool in a normal way.
Due to her condition, B. Kuma developed a bowel obstruction and had to have an emergency colostomy. A colostomy is a surgical procedure in which a piece of the colon is redirected to an alternative opening in the abdominal wall so that waste material can exit the body. However, B. Kuma has had numerous issues with the colostomy, including complications such as leakage and irritation.
Her family has suffered throughout this process. They went to a number of hospitals in search of treatment, and they are very worried about their daughter’s condition. Children born with birth defects– and indeed, their parents too– often fall victim to social stigmas and discrimination. For these reasons, B. Kuma and her parents risk social and psychological problems if she cannot be treated.
“I can’t pay for my child’s medical bill and that worries me for the past six months,” says B. Kuma’s father. “I did not know what to do. But we heard from another hospital that our child can get the treatment for free at Bethany Kids (a facility run by Watsi’s medical partner), and we came here hoping for help.”
Fortunately, we can help fund B. Kuma’s $1,500 procedure, during which doctors will surgically repair her malformation. After her surgery, B. Kuma should be able to pass stool normally, eliminating the risk of future health complications and social barriers.