Lawamutwe is a 7-year-old boy from Tanzania and the youngest of five children. His father works as a cattle breeder, and his mother is a dedicated stay-at-home parent. Unfortunately, due to a prolonged drought in the region, Lawamutwe’s family has faced significant challenges in the past year. Their cattle have suffered starvation, resulting in losses and reduced financial stability.
Lawamutwe and his father arrived at our medical partner’s care center, brought by one of their relatives who live in the city. Due to a language barrier, the team brought in a Maasai translator to facilitate effective communication. Lawamutwe’s father shared that he traveled over 400 kilometers to reach the care center to find medical care for his son. After a heartfelt welcome from our team, the staff performed a comprehensive medical assessment. They determined that Lawamutwe’s orthopedic condition started at the age of three. He has shown signs of bowed legs, which have progressively worsened with time. As a young Maasai boy, grazing livestock is a fundamental part of Lawamutwe’s culture, but his limited ability to walk long distances prevents him from engaging with his peers during these activities.
Lawamutwe was diagnosed with a condition in which his left leg is bowed outward, and his right leg is bowed inward. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. On June 6th, Lawamutwe will undergo surgery to help restore his mobility, allow him to participate in various activities, and significantly decrease his risk of future complications. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund this procedure.
Lawamutwe’s father said: “I wish for my son to be able to go and be with his fellow boys. I hope his legs won’t be a reason he is always alone.”