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Alex is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund corrective surgery so he can walk more easily and go to school.

Alex
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  • $687 raised, $193 to go
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$193
to go
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September 9, 2021

Alex is a social seven-year-old boy and the oldest child in a family of three children. His parents rely on small scale farming for food and other basic needs.

Alex has been diagnosed with left varus and right valgus on his legs. When Alex learned to walk, his parents noticed his condition and they thought it would subside as he got older. The larger bone, or tibia, in his left calf is misaligned with the larger bone in his thigh, or femur, while the bone at the knee joint of the right leg is angled out and away from the body’s midline. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Alex experiences pain and difficulty in walking. He has not yet joined school, mainly because the only school in his family’s village is far from home and he cannot walk all the way there due to his condition.

When Alex and his parents visited his grandfather, he was deeply concerned by Alex’s condition and brought him to the care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), for treatment. Alex is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on September 10th. Treatment will hopefully restore Alex’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 Alex’s surgery.

Alex’s grandfather shared, “I felt really bad seeing how my grandson‘s legs have been deformed. I know his parents are not financially stable and neither am I. I remember the team from your hospital that visited our village to educate us on treatable disability and the possibility of him getting treatment and I am hopeful that he will be well. Please help him.”

Alex is a social seven-year-old boy and the oldest child in a family of three children. His parents rely on small scale farming for food and...

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Alex's Timeline

  • September 9, 2021
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Alex was submitted by Edward Mugane, Impact Assessment Coordinator at African Mission Healthcare.

  • September 10, 2021
    TREATMENT SCHEDULED

    Alex 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.

  • September 13, 2021
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Alex's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • TODAY
    AWAITING FUNDING

    Alex is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD
    AWAITING UPDATE

    Awaiting Alex's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 21 donors

Funded by 21 donors

Treatment
Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $880 for Alex's treatment
Hospital Fees
$831
Medical Staff
$15
Medication
$11
Supplies
$0
Labs
$23
  • 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.