Meet Rabira, an eight-year-old son of peasant farmers from Ethiopia. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF), explains: “Rabira was born with a condition called ‘imperforated anus.’ For the last eight years he has lived with a colostomy that enables him to pass stool.”
Also known as anorectal malformation (ARM), Rabira’s condition involves a blockage of stool flow and/or an incorrect alignment of the anus and rectum. Although Rabira has a colostomy, meaning that his colon is linked to an artificial opening so that he can effectively pass stool, his treatment is not complete. ARM still causes vomiting, pain, bloating, and malnutrition, and there is a stigma surrounding it. “Rabira has suffered from social stigma and colostomy complications,” AMHF reports.
“[Rabira’s parents] do not have any money to cover any amount of the bills that Rabira’s treatment will generate. That is why he has endured all these years without receiving treatment.” AMHF continues, “[They] are very eager to send him to school once he is cured.”
This will be possible for $1,500, with which a new anal opening will be created. According to AMHF, “Rabira will undergo a PSARP (the next step following a colostomy) and then two to three months from now he will undergo the final stage of the surgery (colostomy closure).”
After surgery, “Rabira will be able to pass stool normally. He will have a chance to attend school, work towards his dreams, and will no longer be under social stigma,” AMHF shares.
Furthermore, the discomfort caused by this condition will decrease dramatically, further improving Rabira’s quality of life.
“Rabira wants to be a ball player but he has a very hard time playing with his peers because of the colostomy. He hopes to be able to play and go to school once he is well,” AMHF tells us.