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Stella is a four-year-old from Tanzania who needs $838 to fund knee surgery.

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December 4, 2019

Stella is a four year old girl from Tanzania. Stella’s parents are peasant farmers relying on subsistence farming to make ends meet. During dry seasons, they seek casual labour such as cleaning clothes to provide for their three children.

Stella limps and complains of pain. She walks very slowly due to genu varus, where her legs are curved outwards. When standing, it is hardly noticeable but upon walking, she limps, making it challenging for her to walk.

The firstborn in her family was born healthy, only acquiring the condition when she was two years old. Stella’s parents were not able to seek timely treatment for their daughter due to financial need.

With successful surgery, she will be able to walk with ease and less pain. They are not able to consolidate the funds needed for the surgery. They appeal for help.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Stella. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 5th. Treatment will hopefully restore Stella’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Stella’s mother says, “we were directed here to seek help after we couldn’t afford our daughter’s treatment cost. Please help our daughter so that she can get this treatment.”

Stella is a four year old girl from Tanzania. Stella's parents are peasant farmers relying on subsistence farming to make ends meet. During ...

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Stella's Timeline

  • December 4, 2019

    Stella was submitted by Robert Kariuki, Process Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare Foundation, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • December 05, 2019

    Stella received 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.

  • December 06, 2019

    Stella's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 10, 2020

    Awaiting Stella's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare Foundation.


    Stella is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 6 donors

Funded by 6 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $838 for Stella'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.