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James is a 14-year-old boy from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund mobility-restoring knee surgery.

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December 31, 2020

James is a 14-year-old boy and the second-born in a family of five children. James is a hard-working boy who helps to look after his father’s cattle, requiring him to walk a long distance in search of green pasture. James has not had a chance to join school due to his parent’s financial challenges. His parents are small-scale farmers and livestock keepers. They work hard to make ends meet, and are living in a very difficult environment.

James was diagnosed with left genu varus, also known as bowleggedness. This condition causes his left leg to bow inwards so that his knees touch when walking. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. James is having difficulty walking because his left leg curves as we walks, affecting his gait.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for James. The procedure is scheduled to take place on January 5th. This treatment will hopefully restore James’s mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications.

James shared, “Please help correct my leg because I can’t walk well anymore and am even unable to go out and graze my father’s cattle. I appreciate any support you can provide.”

James is a 14-year-old boy and the second-born in a family of five children. James is a hard-working boy who helps to look after his father’...

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James's Timeline

  • December 31, 2020

    James was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare, our medical partner in Tanzania.

  • January 03, 2021

    James's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 05, 2021

    James was scheduled to receive 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.


    James is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting James's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 21 donors

Funded by 21 donors

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