“I hope to become a secondary school teacher when I grow up,” says 15-year-old Sara. Sara just completed her primary education in Tanzania, and did very well. Her favorite subject is science.
“Sara was born with congenital clubfoot,” reports our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). This condition caused both of her feet to grow inward and with very high arches. Now, “she is using the lateral aspect of her feet for walking, which has badly affected her gait,” AMHF tells us. “Sara will most likely develop early osteoarthritis if not treated.”
Sara needs surgery to correctly realign her feet. However, working as small scale farmers, Sara’s parents are unable to pay for this treatment. They rely on growing and selling maize and sunflower seeds – barely enough to support Sara and her three younger siblings, let alone additional medical expenses.
$1,160 will fund Sara’s medical treatment - an operation in which doctors will surgically release the overly tight tendons in her feet that are causing them to turn inward. Then her foot and ankle joints can be re-aligned, and casts will hold them in place while they heal. Sara will also receive inpatient care for about four months to ensure that these casts are properly cared for.
After fully recovering from her operation, “Sara will no longer have to use the lateral aspect of her feet for walking,” says AMHF, “that will improve her gait and reduce the risk of developing early osteoarthritis. She will then be able to continue her secondary education and work towards her future goals.”