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Saitabau is a hardworking student from Tanzania who needs $880 to fund corrective surgery to heal his legs and restore mobility.

  • $330 raised, $550 to go
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November 8, 2021

Saitabau is a fifteen-year-old student. He’s the second born out of four children from their mother who passed away three years ago. Saitabau is a hard-working boy who is currently in class three and his best subject is mathematics.

Saitabau was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus. His knees tilt inward and his ankles are far apart. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Saitabau’s legs have worsened, making walking exhausting, painful and difficult for him. He has trouble walking to school and playing sports, which he loves to do.

Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Saitabau. The procedure is scheduled to take place on November 9th. Treatment will hopefully restore Saitabau’s mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications.

Saitabau says “Walking to school has now become very difficult because I feel pain on my knees and I get tired easily.”

Saitabau is a fifteen-year-old student. He's the second born out of four children from their mother who passed away three years ago. Saitaba...

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Saitabau's Timeline

  • November 8, 2021

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

  • November 9, 2021

    Saitabau 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.

  • November 10, 2021

    Saitabau's profile was published to start raising funds.


    Saitabau is currently raising funds for his treatment.

  • TBD

    Awaiting Saitabau's treatment update from African Mission Healthcare.

Funded by 6 donors

Funded by 6 donors

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