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Upendo is a teenage girl from Tanzania who needs $890 to fund clubfoot surgery.

Upendo
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August 3, 2017

Upendo is a 13-year-old student from Tanzania. Her name means love in Swahili. She lives with her parents and is the fourth of nine children in her family. Her mother works as a farmer, and her father as a carpenter, to support their family. True to the meaning of her name, Upendo is a very warm and loving girl. She enjoys school and hopes to become a nurse one day.

Upendo was born with clubfoot on her right leg. Her condition makes it difficult for her to walk. Hearing about our medical partner’s care center, Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre (ALMC), from a neighbor, she decided to seek treatment.

On August 4, Upendo will begin treatment for her clubfoot at ALMC. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is asking for $890 to cover the cost of her treatment, including surgery and cast fees.

“After treatment, I will be glad to be able to walk without pain,” says Upendo.

Upendo is a 13-year-old student from Tanzania. Her name means love in Swahili. She lives with her parents and is the fourth of nine children...

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Upendo's Timeline

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Treatment
Clubfoot
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $890 for Upendo's treatment
Hospital Fees
$693
Medical Staff
$0
Medication
$8
Supplies
$175
Labs
$14
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

The foot is turned inward, often severely, at the ankle, and the arch of the foot is very high. Patients experience discomfort, and the affected leg may be shorter and smaller than the other.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

These children have a difficult time walking and running. Years of trying to walk on a clubfoot will cause wounds and other skeletal problems, such as arthritis. Patients will have difficulty fitting in shoes and participating in normal play, school, and daily activities. Many Africans make their livings through manual labor, which can be difficult with an untreated clubfoot.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

Incidence is 1/1,000 live births, or about 1,600 cases in Tanzania annually. This is roughly similar to rates in Western countries, though many cases may be missed. There is no known reason for its occurrence in this region.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Patients will undergo a series of small operations, casting, and manipulations during their course of treatment. Patients will stay in the Plaster House, a rehabilitation center for children in Tanzania, for as long as their recovery takes.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

The bones and joint will become aligned, and long-term disability will be prevented.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Clubfoot is very treatable. The surgery is minor and not risky.

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. If not treated, the condition will persist and will result in disability.

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.