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Pendo is a five-month-old girl from Tanzania who needs $1,369 to fund spina bifida and hydrocephalus repair.

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May 12, 2017

Pendo is a five-month-old girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in her family. Pendo and her mother live with her mother’s father and brother while Pendo’s father is away working.

Pendo was born with spina bifida, a dangerous malformation of the spinal cord. She is also now beginning to develop hydrocephalus, a buildup of cranial fluid surrounding the brain. Her head is 30% larger than it should be.

“Please help my daughter get better,” says Pendo’s mother.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,369 to fund Pendo’s operations. She is scheduled to undergo surgery on May 15 at our medical partner’s care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. After treatment, Pendo will be able grow and develop normally.

Pendo is a five-month-old girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in her family. Pendo and her mother live with her mother's father a...

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Pendo's Timeline

  • May 12, 2017

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

  • May 15, 2017

    Pendo was scheduled to receive treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC).

  • June 14, 2017

    Pendo's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Pendo is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Pendo's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare Foundation.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

Myelomeningocoele w/ hydrocephalus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $1,369 for Pendo'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.