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Success! Laraha from Tanzania raised $940 to relieve his knee pain.

  • $940 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Laraha's treatment was fully funded on August 10, 2016.

Photo of Laraha post-operation

August 30, 2016

Laraha received successful treatment for his knocked knees.

Laraha is doing well. He had knocked knees, a condition which affected his gait. Bilateral distal femoral osteotomy was done successfully and currently Laraha is on long leg casts while the wounds are healing. Soon Laraha will start some exercises and he is expected to have the ability to walk without knocking his knees in the near future.

“I feel I can already start walking again once the casts are removed,” Laraha shared. “I am eager to go back and herd my father’s cattle and even help my mom. I am happy that I got the right treatment.”

Laraha is doing well. He had knocked knees, a condition which affected his gait. Bilateral distal femoral osteotomy was done successfully an...

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July 4, 2016

Laraha is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his family in Tanzania. He is the fourth of ten children, and he loves singing traditional songs and dancing. Laraha has been herding cattle ever since he was a little boy and has never attended school.

Recently, Laraha has been experiencing some knee pain after long days of herding cattle. He usually feels pain in the evenings when he is relaxing. It has also become difficult for him to run because his legs bow inwards and his knees knock when he runs.

Laraha’s condition—known as genu valgus—is part of the normal growth and development of the legs and typical resolves on its own by age seven or eight. However, in some children, underlying bone disease prevents straightening of one or both legs and contributes to the strain of the involved knee joints.

To improve his gait and reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis at a young age, Laraha needs corrective surgery known as an osteotomy. During the surgery, doctors will remove a wedge of bone from each upper leg and attach pins, a rod, or a metal plate and screws to close the gap and straighten the leg.

Laraha’s parents raise livestock and earn just enough to cover the family’s basic needs. With such a large family to support, coming up with enough cash for Laraha’s corrective surgery has been difficult. $940 pays for Laraha’s surgery as well as three pre- and post-surgical consultations, three days of hospital care, physiotherapy, medicine, and a three-month-stay at The Plaster House for recovery and rehabilitation.

“I hope my legs will be straight like before so that I can continue to herd cattle,” shares Laraha.

Laraha is a 15-year-old boy who lives with his family in Tanzania. He is the fourth of ten children, and he loves singing traditional songs ...

Read more

Laraha's Timeline

  • July 4, 2016

    Laraha was submitted by Esupat Kimerei, Rehab Surgery Project Assistant Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • July 5, 2016

    Laraha received treatment at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC) in Tanzania. 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.

  • August 1, 2016

    Laraha's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • August 10, 2016

    Laraha's treatment was fully funded.

  • August 30, 2016

    Laraha's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 24 donors

Funded by 24 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

Patients with genu valgum (or "knock-knees") have knees that bend inward and cause an abnormal walking gait. Patients with genu varum (or bowleggedness) have knees that bend outward and cause knee or hip pain and reduced range of motion in the hips.

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

The patient's mobility is hindered, which can prevent the patient from making a living through physical labor. The patient may also develop arthritis later in life.

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

In the United States, supplemental fluoride is added to the water to improve dental health. However, in areas of northern Tanzania, there is too much naturally-occurring fluoride in the water, which causes bone curvature.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

After surgery, the patient will stay in the hospital for 4-5 days. During this time, the surgical wound will be monitored for swelling and infection. The patient will complete physiotherapy to help him or her walk or move the limbs. A series of X-rays will be performed over several months to monitor the healing process.

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

The bones and joints will be aligned, and long-term disability will be prevented.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

This procedure is not risky, but it is time-consuming. The rehabilitation process can take several months.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Care is not easily accessible. Most patients live in remote, rural areas and are identified through mobile outreach. The pediatric surgical program at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre was started to meet the large burden of pediatric disability in the region.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

There are no alternatives. Although some cases can heal on their own, the patients submitted to Watsi require dedicated treatment.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Saing is a 74-year-old rice farmer. She is a widow and has one daughter, two sons, and six grandchildren. Her husband passed away during the Khmer Rouge regime, so she lives with her oldest daughter, who works in a garment factory. Saing used to be a rice farmer but shared that she can no longer work in the fields due to her declining vision. At home, Saing likes to listen to the monks pray on the radio and go to the pagoda. Four years ago, Saing developed a pterygium in her right eye, causing her itchiness, tearing, and blurry vision. Pterygiums are non-cancerous growths of the conjunctiva, a mucous layer that lubricates the eye. The growths occur when the conjunctiva is exposed to excessive sun damage, and the cells grow abnormally over the pupil. As a result of this condition, Saing has difficulty seeing things clearly and a hard time with day-to-day tasks. She used to cook for her daughter's family but finds it too difficult now. When Saing learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre (CSC), she traveled for three and half hours seeking treatment. On April 22nd, she will undergo surgery to remove the abnormal conjunctiva from the cornea surface and replace it with a conjunctival graft to prevent a recurrence. CSC is requesting $225 to cover the total cost of her procedure, which includes medications, supplies, and inpatient care for two days. Saing shared, "I hope my eyes stop burning after surgery, and I can go outside and be more independent."

13% funded

$195to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.