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Israel is a seven-year-old from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund mobility restoring leg surgery.

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July 22, 2020

Israel is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania. He has a twin brother and is the last born in a family of four children. Israel is a little shy and likes to keep to himself most of the time. Israel’s parents separated when Israel was just a little baby and he and his twin brother stayed with their father. Israel’s father is a subsistence farmer who grows cabbages, tomatoes, and maize. They live in a two-bedroom wooden house and especially lately it has been difficult for Israel’s father to make ends meet because he is growing older and weaker.

Israel was diagnosed with genu varus. his legs are bowed so that his knees do not touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking and has to drag his left foot which causes pain.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery for Israel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 23rd. Treatment will hopefully restore Israel’s mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications.

Israel’s father shared, “When my son gets well I will make sure he goes to school. I really want him to have a good and successful life.”

Israel is a seven-year-old boy from Tanzania. He has a twin brother and is the last born in a family of four children. Israel is a little sh...

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Israel's Timeline

  • July 22, 2020

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

  • July 23, 2020

    Israel's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • July 24, 2020

    Israel 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.

  • August 07, 2020

    Awaiting Israel's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.


    Israel is currently raising funds for his treatment.

Funded by 15 donors

Funded by 15 donors

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