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Birungi is a young woman from Uganda who needs $264 to fund a goiter removal.

Birungi
6%
  • $16 raised, $248 to go
$16
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$248
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May 18, 2020

Birungi is a 24-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is married to a farmer who is also an Imam in his religion of Islam. She has had four pregnancies but, unfortunately, three of her children passed on and she has only one child. Birungi does small-scale farming along with her husband.

Around 10 years ago Birungi began to experience troubling symptoms, including difficulty in breathing and sometimes swallowing. She was diagnosed with a goiter, an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid gland. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Birungi receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on May 19th at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $264, and she and her family need help raising money.

Birungi says, “I hope for a better life after recovery from this condition and to be able to continue working.”

Birungi is a 24-year-old farmer from Uganda. She is married to a farmer who is also an Imam in his religion of Islam. She has had four pregn...

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Birungi's Timeline

  • May 18, 2020
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Birungi was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Uganda.

  • May 18, 2020
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Birungi's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 20, 2020
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Birungi received treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale. 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.

  • July 08, 2020
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Birungi's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Birungi is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 1 donor

Funded by 1 donor

Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $264 for Birungi's treatment
Hospital Fees
$187
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$22
Supplies
$49
Labs
$6
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Patients in need of a thyroidectomy often present with a small thyroid growth (nodule or cyst), a thyroid gland that is so overactive it is dangerous (thyrotoxicosis), cancer of the thyroid, noncancerous (benign) tumors of the thyroid that are causing symptoms, or thyroid swelling (nontoxic goiter) that makes it hard to breathe or swallow. Patients in need of thyroid surgery often present with nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

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

The thyroid gland is an organ located in the front of your neck that releases hormones that control your metabolism (the way your body uses energy), breathing, heart rate, nervous system, weight, body temperature, and many other functions in the body. When the thyroid gland is overactive (hyperthyroidism) the body’s processes speed up and you may experience nervousness, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, hand tremor, excessive sweating, weight loss, and sleep problems, among other symptoms.

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

Thyroid disorders are relatively common in the African continent. Iodine deficiency, although still the commonly documented cause of thyroid disorders in Africa, is not as rampant as it used to be. There is a compelling need to set up thyroid disorder registries in order to determine not only the scope of the burden of these disorders, but also to document changing trends, if any, especially given the background of widespread iodization programs. Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and its incidence has continuously increased in the last three decades all over the world. This trend is present on every continent except Africa, where detection is possibly insufficient.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

Thyroid surgery takes approximately 3-8 hours depending on the patient. Patients will stay in the hospital for a maximum of 6-8 weeks or as needed for recovery. A patient will usually have one follow-up appointment in six weeks.

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

In cases involving thyroid cancer, the surgery is the patient’s best chance of preventing the spread of cancer and saving the patient’s life. For hyperthyroidism, the treatment helps stabilize the hormones that regulate metabolism and effectively treat some of the symptoms that the patient presents with such as rapid heartbeat, anxiety etc.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Thyroid surgery is often 90% curative if diagnosis happens early. For benign tumors and hyperthyroidism, the surgery is more than 90% curative. The surgery comes with few risks.

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.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

In Kenya, surgery is the only treatment offered for thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. This is because radiotherapy and medication alternatives are not easily accessible in the county. Also, the cost of treating with radiotherapy and medication is higher than that of surgery.

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.