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Success! Shamsi from Tanzania raised $880 to fund a corrective surgery for knee condition.

  • $880 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Shamsi's treatment was fully funded on February 25, 2021.
February 8, 2021

Shamsi is a beautiful, friendly and cheerful 3-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the youngest in their family of five children. Shamsi’s father is self-employed and sells home materials like nets, pillows, and bedsheets. Her mother is a homemaker and stays at home to care for their children.

Shamsi was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus, or bow-leggedness. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. Her legs bow outward when she walks, so she is not able to walk comfortably for long periods of time.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Shamsi. The procedure is scheduled to take place on February 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Shamsi’s mobility, allow her to play normally with her siblings, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Shamsi’s father shared, “We have tried medications and different food containing high calcium, but her legs are not getting any better. The only way to correct her legs is through surgery, but the cost of treatment is something we cannot afford.”

Shamsi is a beautiful, friendly and cheerful 3-year-old girl from Tanzania. She is the youngest in their family of five children. Shamsi’s f...

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Shamsi's Timeline

  • February 8, 2021

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

  • February 09, 2021

    Shamsi was scheduled to receive 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.

  • February 15, 2021

    Shamsi's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 25, 2021

    Shamsi's treatment was fully funded.


    Awaiting Shamsi's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 15 donors

Funded by 15 donors

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