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Esther is a 5 year old girl from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund life-changing leg surgery.

  • $285 raised, $595 to go
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January 5, 2023

Esther, who is five years old, lives in a remote area of Tanzania, primarily populated by the Maasai people. Esther’s parents rely on cattle breeding for income to support their family, but due to changing climate, there is increasingly insufficient pasture land to keep the cattle from starving. Esther has also been unwell for quite some time, and after seeking both spiritual and medical help, Esther’s parents decided to relocate her, so that she now lives in the city with her grandmother.

Esther was diagnosed with genu varus, or bow legs, a condition commonly caused by excessive fluoride in the bones, a result of ingesting contaminated drinking water. Her legs bow outward, making it difficult for her to walk.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Esther. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 6th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment will hopefully restore Esther’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Esther’s grandmother says: “Esther is now a happy girl, I wish for her legs to be normal so that she doesn’t have to suffer in the future.”

Esther, who is five years old, lives in a remote area of Tanzania, primarily populated by the Maasai people. Esther's parents rely on cattle...

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Esther's Timeline

  • January 5, 2023

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

  • January 6, 2023

    Esther 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.

  • January 11, 2023

    Esther's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Esther is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Esther's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 7 donors

Funded by 7 donors

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