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Success! Latifa from Tanzania raised $880 to fund corrective surgery to heal her legs.

  • $880 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Latifa's treatment was fully funded on November 6, 2022.

Photo of Latifa post-operation

December 1, 2022

Latifa underwent corrective surgery to heal her legs.

Latifa has had a successful surgery that has helped correct both of her legs that were impacted by her knee condition. After significant time on bed rest with a full cast on both legs, Latifa began moving around and learning to walk again.

Thanks to this surgery, Latifa will be able to walk without pain or exhaustion and will be able to play and explore with her friends and two siblings. She can’t wait!

Latifa’s mother is beyond grateful for the help & support that their family has received and says “Thank you all for the life-changing care you’ve helped provide Latifa.”

Latifa has had a successful surgery that has helped correct both of her legs that were impacted by her knee condition. After significant ti...

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May 19, 2022

Latifa is a beautiful young girl and the second born of three children. She is charming and bright, and joined the first grade earlier this year. Latifa loves to sing the vowels and to color. Latifa’s father is a casual laborer working at construction sites while her mother sells deep fried cakes outside their home every morning.

Latifa was diagnosed with bilateral genu varus which causes her legs bow outward at the knees. Latifa’s mother says she noticed the problem when Latifa was learning to walk. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, she walks with a challenging gait and has exhaustion and pain.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Latifa. The procedure is scheduled to take place on May 20th. Treatment will hopefully restore Latifa’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and decrease her risk of future complications.

Latifa’s mother shared, “My daughter is struggling to walk, and her legs get worse every day. Please help her.”

Latifa is a beautiful young girl and the second born of three children. She is charming and bright, and joined the first grade earlier this ...

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Latifa's Timeline

  • May 19, 2022

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

  • May 20, 2022

    Latifa received 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 23, 2022

    Latifa's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • November 6, 2022

    Latifa's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 1, 2022

    Latifa's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

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


Samuel is a 21-year-old talkative young man. He is the second born in a family of five children. His father passed away when he was four years old, so his mother had to raise him and his siblings by herself. She does jobs on tea farms to provide for the family. When Samuel was two years old, his abdomen started to swell, which was very painful for him. His mother took him to the hospital and he was given some medication and sent back home. The medication did not work as expected. He was then taken to a different hospital for examination. He was given more medication and after some time he seemed to be better. The stomachache did not go away completely, however. Samuel and his mother shared that over the years, he has had stomachaches and gotten used to taking pain medication. In 2017 when Samuel was in high school, the pain worsened and his abdomen started to swell again. He had to leave school as a result. His mother took him to a hospital in Meru where he was admitted for three months. While in the hospital, scans and a biopsy were done to determine what the problem was. He was given a colostomy, where the end of the colon is brought through an opening in the abdominal wall, in order to pass stool. This surgery is often performed to bypass bowel malformations, but colostomies are usually temporary and may call for closure. In Samuel's case, his colostomy requires closure in order to restore bowel function and prevent future complications. At that time, his doctors did not manage to treat him and referred him to BethanyKids Hospital in 2018. On arrival, he was examined and admitted, as he was not in good condition. After more scans and tests, he was ultimately diagnosed with Hirschsprung’s disease. Since then, Samuel has undergone several surgeries with the aim of trying to better his condition. The first surgery failed, but the second was successful. He is now scheduled to undergo his last surgery to close the colostomy so that he can pass stool on his own again and live a more active life. Earlier in his treatment, Samuel's parents had enrolled in the national health insurance program (NHIF), which helped them pay for most of his hospital bills. BethanyKids also chipped in on occasion to help with some of the bills. Unfortunately, for his last surgery, NHIF has rejected the request since he is beyond the age to be covered by his mother’s insurance. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping him to undergo treatment and needs $1,084 to cover the cost of a colostomy closure for Samuel. The surgery is scheduled to take place on November 11th and, once completed, will hopefully allow him to live more comfortably and confidently. Samuel’s Mother says, “For years now, I have been very worried about my son, but God has seen us through.”

74% funded

$271to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.