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Kenema is a farmer from Uganda who needs $252 to fund life-changing thyroid surgery.

Kenema
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  • $90 raised, $162 to go
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October 21, 2021

Kenema is a hard working farmer and a mother of five children who are all in primary and secondary school. She practices small scale farming together with her husband to provide for their family. Kenema laments the difficult struggles they face to raise enough for the school fees for their children and meet their other basic needs. Given this, she has put off being able to take care of her own health.

About four years ago, Kenema began to experience troubling symptoms, including anterior neck swelling, general body malaise and obstructed breathing. She had tried managing the condition with drugs given in different hospitals. However, the condition still remains. She came to Nyakibale Hospital hopeful to finally feel better. Doctors have diagnosed her with an obstructed goitre. She needs surgery but is afraid of its cost and appeals for help.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Kenema receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on October 26th at our medical partner’s care center. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $252, and she and her family need help raising money.

Kenema says “I cannot afford private hospitals for treatment yet I need the condition to be treated. Please help me.”

Kenema is a hard working farmer and a mother of five children who are all in primary and secondary school. She practices small scale farming...

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Kenema's Timeline

  • October 21, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Kenema was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • October 26, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Kenema was scheduled to receive treatment at Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale in Uganda. 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.

  • October 26, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Kenema's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Kenema is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Kenema's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 2 donors

Profile 48x48 me
Profile 48x48 img 8309

Funded by 2 donors

Profile 48x48 me
Profile 48x48 img 8309
Treatment
Thyroidectomy
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $252 for Kenema's treatment
Hospital Fees
$163
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$22
Supplies
$49
Labs
$6
Other
$12
  • 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.

Duncan

Duncan is a 23-year-old mechanic. He's a lively man who likes cracking jokes with friends to cheer everyone up. Duncan is the second born in a family of six and he is married with two children. He lives in a rented house at his local center with his family. He completed his high school studies but did not proceed to college because of a lack of school fees. He has always had to do a lot to take care of his siblings and provide for their needs, like school fees. Duncan learned mechanical skills from his local center by watching what the mechanics there were doing. He now hopes to study mechanical engineering to improve his skills but he is unable because of the financial burden he has of taking care of his siblings and young family. Despite this, he is still hopeful that he will manage to do so in the future. Two days ago, Duncan was involved in a severe accident and sustained a fracture on his right leg. He was riding a motorcycle in the evening from his place of work when it lost control and fell into a ditch. He was rushed to a nearby health facility for immediate care from where he was referred to our hospital. An X-Ray confirmed a right femur fracture. He also has chest pains hence needing hospital admission for management and to plan for his surgery. He is unable to walk, has pain, and feels all he can do is lie in bed and wait for help. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 8th, Duncan will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. This surgery will relieve him of the pain and help him walk again. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1145 to fund this procedure. Duncan says, “We are facing a difficult moment as a family, my parents cannot find money to buy food for the family without my assistance. There’s nothing else that matters other than seeing my family happy. I want to get healed and go back home to support their needs.”

81% funded

81%funded
$928raised
$216to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.