Free surgeries join up the broken back to daily lives

A team of orthopaedic surgeons and nurses operate on a patient at Nanyuki Hospital. [Jacinta Mutura, Standard]
For four months Lesili Kurukai has been confined on a hospital bed, enduring endless pain after he fell and broke his hip bone.

The 56-year-old had to abandon his tailoring job. After the December 28 accident in Doldol, Laikipia North, Kurukai was booked at a nearby health centre where he got several jabs and pain killers and went back home.

Few other trips to and from the hospital could not treat his ailment and in January this year, well-wishers from his village assisted him to seek further medical attention at Nanyuki Referral Hospital.

He, however, had to stay in the wards as he could not afford the over Sh700,000 required to do a hip replacement, as recommended by doctors.

The father of four probably could have waited for close to a year to get his hip joint replaced as orthopaedic cases go up, with hundreds of patients queuing for bone and joint surgery.

However, in a few days, Mr Kurukai will regain mobility and get on with his tailoring job after he successfully underwent a two-hour surgery at Nanyuki hospital, thanks to the free orthopaedic camp organised at the facility.

The three-day camp organised in collaboration with the Kenya Orthopaedic Association has saved the patients with joint and bone problems the long wait to get treatment.

The association sponsored a team of 10 orthopaedic surgeons, nurses, anaesthesia specialists, among other orthopaedic technicians committed to help the big numbers of patients with bone condition in the region.

“I cannot believe that I will be able to walk again. I have really suffered because I did not have money to pay for surgery,” said Kurukai, adding that once discharged he would be able to cater for his children and wife, who has a mental condition.

The surgeons target to handle 53 cases by the end of the camp, with the leading surgeon, Dr Samuel Danya, saying most of the patients booked for surgeries have queued for over one year to get to the operation table.

“We have a lot of patients with bone and joint condition in this region and some of them have waited for over one year to get the service. Every week we would admit at least 10 patients and we still have others waiting in the clinics,” said Dr Danya.

Nanyuki hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Dr Timothy Panga said they had to improvise and equip more theatres, with other hospitals such as Nyahururu donating surgery equipment for the success of the camp.

“Nanyuki hospital has two theatre tables and we can only use one table for surgery and leave the other for emergencies. But we were able to create five theatres and they were equipped from hospitals within the county,” said Dr Panga. He said the camp would reduce the number of patients in the waiting list from 250 to 50 as the team also handled orthopaedic clinics at the facility.

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Nanyuki Referral HospitalOrthopaedic campFree surgeries