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Kolongo is a hardworking student from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund corrective surgery so that he can walk easily.

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October 7, 2021

Kolongo is a 17-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of six children. He is currently in class five in school and his best subjects are Swahili and math. Kolongo is hard-working both at school and home. He helps his parents with farm work when he is not at school. Kolongo’s parents are small-scale farmers of maize, cassava, and sorghum. They depend entirely on what they harvest for food and his father also seeks day laboring jobs to supplement the family’s income.

Kolongo was diagnosed with right genu valgus, which means that his right leg is bowing inward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking to school and other daily activities are difficult.

Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is helping Kolongo to receive treatment. On October 8th, he will undergo corrective surgery at AMH’s care center. Treatment will hopefully restore Kolongo’s mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications. Now, AMH is requesting $880 to fund his procedure and care.

Kolongo shared, “walking long distances is a challenge and carrying out my daily life activities, like working on the farm and carrying anything heavy causes me pain. I will be happy if I have my leg corrected.”

Kolongo is a 17-year-old student and the oldest child in a family of six children. He is currently in class five in school and his best subj...

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Kolongo's Timeline

  • October 7, 2021

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

  • October 8, 2021

    Kolongo 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.

  • October 13, 2021

    Kolongo's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Kolongo is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Kolongo's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 25 donors

Funded by 25 donors

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