to help us reach our 25,000th patient 💙
Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Robert is a 16-year-old from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund mobility-restoring leg surgery.

  • $420 raised, $460 to go
to go
Dedicate my donation

We'll send your dedicatee an email
about your gift, along with updates
about Robert's recovery.

May 12, 2022

Robert is a 16-year-old teenager who is a sociable and talkative boy with five siblings. Robert enjoys helping his parents with their work. Their family lives a nomadic life, herding his father’s cattle. During the dry season, Robert can spend two to three months away from home, walking long distances with his cattle, in search of pastureland and water.

However, walking has gotten more difficult for Robert now. He was diagnosed with left genu valgus and right genu varus. His left leg bends inward at the knee, while the right leg bends outward at the knee. This condition is typically caused by excessive fluoride in contaminated drinking water. As a result of his condition, walking is exhausting and painful, and he has stopped taking his father’s cattle out to graze. While he is scheduled for surgery to help correct his legs, his parents cannot afford the treatment cost, and are asking for help.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is raising $880 to fund Robert’s corrective surgery. It is hoped that this procedure, which is scheduled for May 13th, will restore Robert’s mobility, allowing him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decreasing his risk of future complications.

Robert says: “Staying at home all day without participating in daily life is very boring and it makes me feel bad, because I cannot work and help.”

Robert is a 16-year-old teenager who is a sociable and talkative boy with five siblings. Robert enjoys helping his parents with their work. ...

Read more

Robert's Timeline

  • May 12, 2022

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

  • May 13, 2022

    Robert 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 16, 2022

    Robert's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Robert is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Robert's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 15 donors

Funded by 15 donors

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