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Success! Zawadi from Tanzania raised $765 to fund hydrocephalus surgery.

  • $765 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Zawadi's treatment was fully funded on May 21, 2021.

Photo of Zawadi post-operation

June 11, 2021

Zawadi underwent life-saving hydrocephalus surgery.

Zawadi’s surgery went well! Through this life-saving treatment, Zawadi has been relieved of the pressure build in her head that was being caused by fluid accumulation. This surgery has also saved her from the risk of having brain damage due to the pressure build-up and gives her a chance to lead a full life ahead.

Zawadi’s mother shared, “With each surgery that my baby has had it has brought improvement to her health. She is now doing fine, eating well, and sleeping soundly. Thank you very much.’’

Zawadi’s surgery went well! Through this life-saving treatment, Zawadi has been relieved of the pressure build in her head that was being ca...

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April 20, 2021

Zawadi is a one month old infant from Tanzania. Her name means “gift” in Swahili, because to her parents she is a gift from God. Her parents are small scale farmers who mainly grow food crops like maize and vegetable for their own use at home. The father also seeks day jobs at construction sites to be able to supplement their living, and through the money they get from this work, they are able to pay bills and buy other home commodities.

Zawadi has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Zawadi has been experiencing an increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Zawadi will experience severe physical and developmental delays.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $765 to cover the cost of surgery for Zawadi that will treat her hydrocephalus. The procedure will drain the excess fluid from Zawadi’s brain, to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Zawadi will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl.

Zawadi’s mother says “It’s been a step at a time trying to treat my daughter, but money is what has been our biggest challenge. She needs another surgery. Please help my daughter.”

Zawadi is a one month old infant from Tanzania. Her name means "gift" in Swahili, because to her parents she is a gift from God. Her parents...

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Zawadi's Timeline

  • April 20, 2021

    Zawadi was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • April 21, 2021

    Zawadi received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. 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.

  • April 22, 2021

    Zawadi's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 21, 2021

    Zawadi's treatment was fully funded.

  • June 11, 2021

    Zawadi's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 23 donors

Funded by 23 donors

Hydrocephalus alone
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $765 for Zawadi'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?

Symptoms of hydrocephalus include an enlarged head size, irritability, abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, and increased intracranial pressure. Cognitive development can be affected, and damage to the optic nerve can cause blindness.

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

In young children, hydrocephalus affects brain development, cognition, and vision. In older children and adults, hydrocephalus also causes headaches.

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

The burden of infant hydrocephalus in East Africa is significant, with more than 6,000 new cases estimated per year. The majority are caused by neonatal infection and vitamin deficiency, and should thus be preventable. In East Africa, the single most common cause of hydrocephalus is infection, usually via neonatal meningitis or ventriculitis. Neonatal sepsis is common and is exacerbated by the lack of skilled perinatal care for the majority of births in Africa.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Hydrocephalus patients are usually treated within a few days of arriving at the hospital. Fortunately, our medical partner can accept many patients who would otherwise go home if they could not afford the surgery cost. Treatment involves inserting a shunt into the brain to route cerebrospinal fluid to another part of the body. One month after surgery, the patient returns for a follow-up appointment.

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

This surgery is lifesaving. The patient will no longer be at risk of cognitive and vision damage. Surgical treatment for hydrocephalus can restore and maintain normal cerebrospinal fluid levels in the brain.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This condition is treatable, though the outcome depends on how quickly the disease is identified and treated.

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

There are few quality care centers in the region. Hospitals lack adequate resources and expertise to treat this condition. With about one neurosurgeon per 10,000,000 people in East Africa, initial treatment for hydrocephalus is often unavailable.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Surgery is the only option.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Byereta is a 58-year-old farmer and policeman, and a married father to seven children. Two of his daughters are married, while the other five are still studying in school. His wife is a small scale farmer. He shared that because of having many children in school, he had to acquire loans to pay their school fees and support their family. In February of 2020, Byereta visited the hospital with a swelling that caused him unbearable pain. He was diagnosed with a right inguinal hernia and it was recommended that he have surgery, but he was called for training and never underwent the procedure. After his training, he was re-examined and surgery was again recommended to ensure a complete recovery. Because of the hernia, Byereta has difficulty bending down or carrying out any strenuous activity. If not treated, the hernia may become strangulated. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Byereta to receive treatment. Fortunately, on May 22nd, he will undergo hernia repair surgery at AMH's care center. Now, AMH is requesting $230 to fund Byereta's surgery. Once complete, this procedure will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Byereta shared, “I have suffered a lot with this condition because my finances can't enable me pay for my bill on my own due to overwhelming bank loans and the little balance I receive. I use it to buy soap, salt, and paraffin to light the lamp at home. My situation is getting worse yet my entire family looks up to me. I kindly ask for your support so that I can regain my health and continue working effectively for the betterment for my health and my family.”

20% funded

$184to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.