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Rachel is a young girl from Tanzania who needs $838 to fund knee surgery.

  • $645 raised, $193 to go
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November 13, 2019

Rachel is a very social and talkative six-year-old from Tanzania. She has not had the chance to join school yet but her grandmother plans to enroll her next year. She is the first born child to her mother who had two children and is currently being raised by her grandmother for the past few years. Her grandmother had to take Rachel and raise her since their mother would spend her money on alcohol and would leave both children at home for hours without food or anyone to look after them.

Rachel was diagnosed with genu varus. bilateral bowing of the femur. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Rachel has difficulty walking.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $940 to fund corrective surgery for Rachel. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 14th. Treatment will hopefully restore Rachel’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Rachel’s grandmother says, “Please help treat her, her mother has abandoned her and I can’t afford the treatment cost.”

Rachel is a very social and talkative six-year-old from Tanzania. She has not had the chance to join school yet but her grandmother plans to...

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Rachel's Timeline

  • November 13, 2019

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

  • November 15, 2019

    Rachel 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.

  • November 19, 2019

    Rachel's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • January 10, 2020

    Awaiting Rachel's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.


    Rachel is currently raising funds for her treatment.

Funded by 15 donors

Funded by 15 donors

Fluorosis - Genu Valgus / Varus
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $838 for Rachel'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.