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Mbula is 5-year-old girl from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund leg correction surgery.

  • $571 raised, $309 to go
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December 1, 2022

Mbula is a young girl from Tanzania. She has one sibling and lives with her family in a remote area far from the city; it’s hard for them to access basic social services. Mbula is raised by two loving parents who are farmers. They depend on their harvest to provide for their family. With the recent years’ weather changing and droughts, it has been hard for them because they cannot depend on the rainy season for agriculture. This has made it difficult to sustain food at home.

Mbula was diagnosed with genu varus, which causes her legs to bow outward. 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 has difficulty walking and running..

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is asking for $880 to fund corrective surgery for Mbula. The procedure is scheduled to take place on December 2nd. Treatment will hopefully restore Mbula’s mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications.

Mbula’s mother says, “I feel sorry for my daughter, she has to go through pain almost every day.”

Mbula is a young girl from Tanzania. She has one sibling and lives with her family in a remote area far from the city; it’s hard for them to...

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Mbula's Timeline

  • December 1, 2022

    Mbula was submitted by Joan Kadagaya, Curative Medical Support Program-Partner Representative at African Mission Healthcare.

  • December 2, 2022

    Mbula 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.

  • December 6, 2022

    Mbula's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Mbula is currently raising funds for her treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Mbula's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 18 donors

Funded by 18 donors

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