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Happiness is a bright 15-year-old student from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund leg surgery so she can walk more easily.

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May 9, 2022

Happiness is a 15-year-old girl who lives with her widowed mother - a small scale farmer - and six siblings. She is in class six at school. Happiness has many academic strengths, and she is always among the top ten students in her class, where her best subjects are Swahili, mathematics, social studies and history. She hopes to learn English someday, and she would like to be a teacher when she completes her studies. Her father used to sell cattle for a living, but he passed away when she was six years old.

Happiness was diagnosed with right genu varus, which causes her right leg to bow outward at the knee. This condition is often caused by contaminated drinking water. Initially, both of her legs were affected, but before her father died, he was able to find treatment for Happiness’ left leg. Her right leg is now severely impacted, making walking painful. And, because she is self-conscious of her leg, Happiness always wears long dresses to keep it covered.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Happiness. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 10th. Treatment should restore Happiness’s mobility, alleviate her discomfort, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Happiness says “Walking is hard and painful for me. I would like to have normal legs so that I can walk well.”

Happiness is a 15-year-old girl who lives with her widowed mother - a small scale farmer - and six siblings. She is in class six at school. ...

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Happiness's Timeline

  • May 9, 2022

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

  • May 10, 2022

    Happiness 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.

  • May 10, 2022

    Happiness's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Happiness is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Happiness's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 13 donors

Funded by 13 donors

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