People with healthcare needs all over the world are supported and in particular in developing countries in Africa and Asia.
Watsi supports specific healthcare problems on a person to person basis. The individual has to be afflicted with a condition that is severely impacting their lives and the treatment has to have a high probability of being successful. It also has to be under US$1,500, but unaffordable to the patient.
Watsi has a range of medical partners like: CURE International, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, Project Muso, Floating Doctors, Hope for West Africa, and Nyaya Health. The partner identifies potential beneficiaries by assessing whether the person needs high-impact, but low-cost medical procedures and cannot afford it. When a patient meets the profile, it is accepted by Watsi and upon acceptance Watsi guarantees the medical partner that the costs of providing the required medical care will be covered by the organisation. The profile then gets posted online for potential donors to browse through. Once the donations reach the funding goal, the medical partner provides the required care to the beneficiary. Once the treatment or procedure is completed, the medical partner sends an update to Watsi about the outcome, and Watsi pays 100% of the funding across to the partner via PayPal.
Some of the previous projects that were funded through Watsi are:
• Neema, a 40-year old woman from Uganda was living with chronic pain until Watsi raised money for her to have her thyroid gland removed.
• Iqra, a four-month old baby girl from Kenya suffered from congenital hydrocephalus, which could result in brain damage and death. Watsi funds paid for an operation in which a shunt was inserted to drain fluids.
• Kadoma, a 48-year old single father from Uganda had a painful abdominal hernia that interfered with his ability to work. After surgery funded by Watsi, Kadoma could do his work and look after his children again.
Watsi was founded in 2012 by Chase Adam, Grace Garey, and Jesse Cooke, and a group of key people that included: Dr. Mitul Kapadia, Mary Everette Cann, Dinkar Jain, Paul Graham and Jon Skaggs.
How Watsi was started
The idea behind Watsi was born when Chase Adam was traveling on a bus in South America. He was confronted by a woman who was asking for donations for healthcare for her son, and was showing people on the bus a photo of the child and his medical records, which she was carrying with her. The woman’s plight touched Chase’s heart and he realised that people back home would also be touched and would gladly donate, if only they knew about the child’s dire medical situation. He realised that an online platform would be the ideal space from which to create awareness and raise funds for this woman, and others in similar situations. Chase connected with Grace Carey and Jesse Cook and the three partners started working after hours to get Watsi off the ground. It was eventually launched only a year and a half later.