Meet Zacharia, an eight-year-boy from Kenya whose favorite subject in school is social studies.
Zacharia came to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), with hypospadias. “Zacharia’s urethral opening is abnormally placed on the ventral side [underside] of his penis, and as a result, he has an irregular stream,” explains AMHF. “Passing urine for him is a challenge and leads to teasing by his brother and friends.”
AMHF adds, “Zacharia is likely to experience urinary tract infections and impotence if not treated.”
Treatment for hypospadias is surgery. The surgeon takes tissue grafts from the foreskin or from the inside of the mouth to extend the length of the urethra so that it opens at the tip of the penis.
Zacharia’s father is retired and receives a monthly pension, but it is not enough to pay for surgery for Zacharia, in addition to the family’s household needs and education expenses for the children.
$655 will cover the cost of surgery for Zacharia, as well as 10 days of hospital care. “If treated,” says AMHF, “Zacharia will be able to pass urine normally and the risk of urinary tract infections will also reduce.”
“I don’t want my brother to laugh at me anymore,” says Zacharia. “I hope I will be treated.”