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Success! Mafuru from Tanzania raised $880 to fund corrective surgery so he can run and play.

  • $880 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Mafuru's treatment was fully funded on July 11, 2021.
June 3, 2021

Mafuru is a happy and energetic four-year-old boy from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of two children.

Mafuru was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, which means that his legs bow inward and his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often comes from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he falls when walking or running and experiences pain in his knees that is more severe during cold weather.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mafuru. The procedure is scheduled to take place on June 4th and treatment will hopefully restore Mafuru’s mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications.

Mafuru’s father shared, “I wish to see my son have the surgery so that he can lead a life free of disability.”

Mafuru is a happy and energetic four-year-old boy from Tanzania and the oldest child in a family of two children. Mafuru was diagnosed wi...

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Mafuru's Timeline

  • June 3, 2021

    Mafuru was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • June 4, 2021

    Mafuru was scheduled to receive 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.

  • June 8, 2021

    Mafuru's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 11, 2021

    Mafuru's treatment was fully funded.


    Awaiting Mafuru's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 14 donors

Funded by 14 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $880 for Mafuru'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?

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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.