“Faraja used to have straight legs and was able to walk and run without any problems,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). “But at the age of three, her legs gradually started to bow inwards making it difficult for her to walk. There was a time when Faraja could not even stand up because her legs were too weak.”
“She can now stand up, but due to severe bowing of both legs, Faraja walks with difficulty and she is extra short compared to her age mates,” AMHF continues. “Her physical abnormality is affecting her self-esteem as now Faraja doesn’t like to socialize with other children.”
9-year-old Faraja is a girl from Tanzania. She is a primary school student, and the fourth born of six siblings. Faraja has been diagnosed with genu valgum, or knock-knees. This is thought to be caused by fluorosis, or an excessive accumulation of fluoride, which is common in areas with high concentrations of fluoride in drinking water.
Faraja’s parents are small scale farmers, and are unable to afford the $940 surgery that Faraja needs to walk normally.
“Education is the best inheritance we can give to our daughter. We pray that her legs can be straightened so that she can walk properly and have the ability to walk a long distance to school,” her parents tell us.