“I would like to go to school like my brothers,” says Zakia, a four-year-old girl from Tanzania. One of eleven siblings, Zakia dreams of being able to run, play, and attend school like the rest of her siblings. She is limited, however, by genu varum—a misalignment of the knee joint and femur which not only makes it difficult for her to walk, but also causes her severe knee pain.
Genu varum is common in Tanzania due to high levels of fluoride in drinking water. Treatment involves a long-term process of casting, surgery, and physiotherapy.
Zakia’s parents are small scale farmers, but with a large family to look after they have been unable to raise the money needed for her treatment. $940 will support her complete stay in both the hospital and Plaster House, a rehabilitation facility that specializes in postoperative care for children.
With treatment, “Zakia’s gait will improve and the chances of her developing early osteoarthritis will greatly decrease,” says our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation (AMHF). She will be able to play like other children her age and will be able to attend school just like her brothers.