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Neema from Tanzania raised $1,200 for life-saving spinal surgery.

Neema
100%
  • $1,200 raised, $0 to go
$1,200
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Neema's treatment was fully funded on May 5, 2016.

Photo of Neema post-operation

June 16, 2016

Neema received life-saving spinal surgery.

Neema was born with myelomeningocele (a serious type of spina bifida) and surgery was done successfully (MMC closure). Stitches on Neema’s back were recently removed and the wound is healing well. The rate of growth of Neema’s head is being observed as she may need a shunt to be inserted due to an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (known as hydrocephalus). Neema is out of the risk of easily contracting infection through what was an open lesion on her back.

“My baby is doing well. I am able to hold her without worrying that I’ll hurt her back; she is breastfeeding well and doesn’t cry as much anymore. I greatly appreciate the financial support; we wouldn’t have managed on our own,” said Neema’s mother.

Neema was born with myelomeningocele (a serious type of spina bifida) and surgery was done successfully (MMC closure). Stitches on Neema’s b...

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April 13, 2016

On April 10, 2016, Neema was born with a lesion on her lower back which is leaking cerebral spinal fluid. “If not treated,” our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF) tells us, “Neema will be at risk of easily contracting infections. She is also at risk of developing hydrocephalus.”

Neema is the youngest of four children and lives with her parents and siblings in Tanzania. Neema’s mother is a homemaker and her father owns a small business where he sells mats. Although they both work hard, their combined incomes are not enough to cover the operation that Neema needs, as well as the cost of rent and expenses related to their other children.

$1,200 will ensure that Neema receives the treatment she needs, which will keep her from developing hydrocephalus - a more serious brain condition - in the future. “I pray that my baby will get well and grow up like her siblings,” said Neema’s mother.

On April 10, 2016, Neema was born with a lesion on her lower back which is leaking cerebral spinal fluid. "If not treated," our medical part...

Read more

Neema's Timeline

  • April 13, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Neema was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • April 15, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Neema received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC). 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 02, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Neema's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 05, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Neema's treatment was fully funded.

  • June 16, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    We received an update on Neema. Read the update.

Treatment
Myelomeningocoele w/ hydrocephalus
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • 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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.