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Hospital to subsidize cost of neurosurgery

By Mactilda Mbenywe | Published Mon, August 13th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 12th 2018 at 22:40 GMT +3
The hospital plans to spend Sh10 million to subsidise the cost of neurosurgery. [Courtesy]

Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital plans to spend Sh10 million to subsidise the cost of neurosurgery.

According to the hospital's Chief Executive Officer, Peter Okoth, the decision has been prompted by a rising number of surgical cases at the hospital in the recent past.

Dr Okoth said through the subsidy, the patients will pay between Sh50,000 and Sh100,000 while National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) members will be treated and cleared.

“The facility will purchase medical materials such as implants and pharmaceuticals that will be used to upscale neurosurgery services,” he said.

He said most patients, especially accident victims, lacked the funds to afford proper medical care.

“In a week, we attend to more than 14 cases and have only one neurosurgeon on board. The work has been overwhelming," he added.

Okoth explained that the majority of cases reported were head injuries, brain tumours and spinal problems that needed immediate intervention.

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Three volunteers

The hospital will receive three volunteer neurosurgeons from the United States for two weeks in September, which Okoth said would help to ease the pressure.

The three are Kenyan citizens living and working in the US and will be coming to strengthen the Kisumu neuroscience initiative.

"They are giving back to the society that brought them up. They will come with support specialists in neurosurgical instruments and devices," he said.

Okoth said they would offer screening, diagnoses, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of disorders affecting any part of the nervous system including the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.

The initiative is aimed at saving lives in a region with a high burden of neurosurgical cases and lack of proper treatment.

“We have a long list of patients with low manpower in place given that this is the largest referral hospital in western Kenya,” he said, adding that the cost of neurosurgical procedures normally ranged from Sh500,000 to Sh1 million and required a lot of input, including equipment.


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