Doctors have conducted the first brain surgery at Kitui County Referral Hospital.
The operation was done on 52-year-old Hillary Muteti Muthui who had severe head injury. He slipped and fell at his Kathuma, Mutulu village home in Kitui West a week ago.
The consultant neurosurgeon from Kenyatta National Hospital, Samuel Njiru who led the operation said the procedure took two hours and involved a team of anesthetists, nurses and physicians from the county last Friday.
Speaking to The Standard at his hospital bed yesterday, an elated Muthui said after his admission in the hospital, a CT scan was done and a surgery recommended. “I want first to thank God for enabling and giving me strength to overcome the pain and distress during the surgery. God help Governor Charity Ngilu, doctors and all those who took part in the grueling surgery. Ooh Almighty God hear my humble prayer,” Muthui said as he fought back tears of joy.
A combined efforts by Governor Ngilu, county executive member for health Richard Muthoka and medics at the facility led to invitation of Dr Njiru from KNH to give advanced consultancy and operation to the patient.
The neurosurgeon said the operation was successful and that the patient was out of danger and was recuperating well at the hospital.
“I want to thank the governor and the local medical team for making this surgery as success. We aspire to move to the next level where we can perform complex surgeries like kidney transplant and open heart surgery. The initiative will ease on KNH and reduce the cost for patients,” said Dr Njiru.
Mrs Ngilu said the hospital is now capable of offering services just like KNH. She said her government has set aside Sh1.3 billion, out of the Sh11.8 billion allocated to it by Treasury, towards improving health services in the county.
"This is a historic event and we are prepared and good to go. We have the equipment and the human resource needed to sustain the new programme," the governor said.
She praised devolution as a success story in marginalised counties and urged the national government to grant counties more funds to enable doctors further their studies and sharpen their skills.
The surgery comes in wake of a memorandum of understating signed between the county government and VIRION Health Limited to provide advanced medical consultancy and treatment to residents.
The VIRION Health Limited which is a leading consortium of medical practitioners will provide a pool of medical specialists to offer specialised consultancy and treatment to Kitui residents at the county’s designated health facilities.
The dubbed “porting health”, the medical practitioners will provide services at leading referral facilities in the county’s four referral hospitals and other 12 top facilities.
The CEC for health Dr Richard Muthoka said the pool of medical specialists to be availed through this partnership include cardiologists, pediatricians, radiotherapists and neurosurgeons with Dr Njiru as leading doctor.
Muthoka said the partnership will cushion residents from the high costs incurred during the search for advanced treatment at top hospitals outside the county.
“Through our partnership with VIRION, we shall provide top medical care in our facilities and patients will no longer have to travel outside in search of treatment” the CEC said.
He said residents will benefit more from this partnership upon their subscription to the county universal health cover whose launch is slated for August 21.
Muthoka said through the county health insurance cover, patients will be provided access to hitherto costly medical services at reduced charges urging all residents to embrace the idea floated to enhance delivery of health services in the county.
“Improved healthcare is governor Ngilu’s second agenda for the county and we are doing all that is in our ability to ensure our people receive the best health services at our facilities,” the chief officer said.