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Vumilia is a 2-year-old girl from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund knee surgery so she can learn to walk well.

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January 21, 2021

Vumilia is a 2-year-old girl from Tanzania. She has a beautiful smile and is very charming. Vumilia is the third born in a family of four children. Her parents come from the northern part of Tanzania known as Serengeti, which is close to the Serengeti National Park. Most of the people living in this region depend on small-scale farming for a living. Vumilia’s parents grow mostly maize, sorghum, and vegetables, selling part of their harvest to make a humble income to support the family.

Vumilia was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, or bowleggedness. Her legs bow inward so that her knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Vumilia has a difficult time walking and often feels pain after walking for a while.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Vumilia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 22nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Vumilia’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Vumilia’s mother shared, “My daughter is struggling so much that she can no longer play well with her siblings and is forced to sit by herself most times which saddens me as her mother. Please help correct her legs.”

Vumilia is a 2-year-old girl from Tanzania. She has a beautiful smile and is very charming. Vumilia is the third born in a family of four ch...

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Vumilia's Timeline

  • January 21, 2021

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

  • January 22, 2021

    Vumilia's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • February 22, 2021

    Vumilia 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.


    Vumilia is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Vumilia's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 30 donors

Funded by 30 donors

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