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Success! Kabula from Tanzania raised $1,438 to fund spina bifida and hydrocephalus treatment.

  • $1,438 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Kabula's treatment was fully funded on December 25, 2020.

Photo of Kabula post-operation

December 26, 2020

Kabula underwent spina bifida and hydrocephalus treatment.

Kabula had successful surgery which helped repair the spinal bifida condition that was putting his life at risk. He also had a VPS insertion to relieve him of the pressure build-up that was being caused by fluid accumulating in his head. This surgery helped save him from brain damage and will help him get back to good health.

Kabula’s mother shared with a hopeful smile, “I see a lot of change and improvement in my son’s health. He is now starting to eat and no longer cries a lot due to the pain and suffering he was going through due to his head being big. I can’t pay you back, but only God can and bless you all. Thank you very much.”

Kabula had successful surgery which helped repair the spinal bifida condition that was putting his life at risk. He also had a VPS insertion...

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November 1, 2020

Kabula is the fifth born child in her family and was born with Spina Bifida. Her parents were referred to a more advanced hospital for treatment but they could not afford to travel to there or the cost of treatment that would be needed.

They returned home tried to raise money but months kept passing by and they still could not afford it. Kabula kept getting sick every now and then with fever and vomiting, and her family took her to the nearby clinic where they were given medications.

Kabula’s parents separated two months ago, her mom shared, as Kabula’s father was blaming her mom for giving birth to a child with Hydrocephalus. He also felt he could not afford any treatment for her with his living as a subsistence farmer, so Kabula’s mother has been caring for her alone.

Kabula’s mother has now returned back to her parent’s house to live. Kabula has been scheduled for Spina Bifida repair surgery and a VPS insertion and her mother is requesting financial support. She said, “I have been left with no support from my husband due to our child’s condition. Please help save her life.”

Kabula is the fifth born child in her family and was born with Spina Bifida. Her parents were referred to a more advanced hospital for treat...

Read more

Kabula's Timeline

  • November 1, 2020

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

  • November 02, 2020

    Kabula 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.

  • November 03, 2020

    Kabula's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 25, 2020

    Kabula's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 26, 2020

    Kabula's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Myelomeningocoele w/ hydrocephalus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,438 for Kabula'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.


Ry is a 26-year-old construction worker from Cambodia. He has been married for three years and has a one-year-old son, and their family currently lives with his parents. His wife is a farmer. In Ry's free time, he likes watching TV, playing games on his phone, and caring for his son. Three months ago, Ry was in a construction accident that caused a severe laceration on his right neck and paralysis of his right shoulder and elbow. After the accident, his family took him to the hospital where he had nerve repair treatment and wound closure. Ry stayed there for one month, before returning home. Still not feeling well, he traveled to Watsi's Medical Partner Children's Surgical Center to receive treatment. Doctors diagnosed him with a brachial plexus injury on his right shoulder side. The brachial plexus is a nerve network that transmits signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Injuries to this nerve network can result in loss of function and sensation. Ry is unable to lift his arm and he cannot work. On January 12th, Ry will undergo a brachial plexus repair surgery. Surgeons plan to do a spinal accessory nerve to suprascapular nerve transfer, referred to as an Oberlin transfer. After recovery, he will be able to use his arm and shoulder normally again. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $696 to fund this procedure. Ry shared, "I hope that after surgery, my right shoulder and elbow will get back to their full function and I can work as I did before."

39% funded

$422to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.