Wangui Githugo @Wango_G
Kenya’s largest hospital has achieved yet another historic milestone in Sub-Saharan Africa after successfully re-implanting a 17-year-old boy’s limb chopped off by a chaff-cutter machine. Being a first of its kind in the region, doctors from the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and University of Nairobi College of Health Sciences performed the complex surgery.
They said they are optimistic that Joseph Theuri will regain mobility of his fingers after his right hand was completely detached from his arm. And in yet another milestone in the country’s healthcare, NHIF will cover most of the treatment cost, which amounts to Sh1.2 million.
The highly delicate surgery lasted seven hours and was performed on January 28 by 15 staff including plastic surgeons, anesthetists, orthopedic surgeons and nurses. UoN senior lecturer and plastic surgeon Dr Ferdinand Nang’ole and his plastic surgery counterpart Prof Stanley Khainga led the team.
Waiting to be discharged, Theuri who hails from Kiambu county was all smiles and thankful to the doctors as he told journalists he was looking forward to living a normal life.
Narrating to People Daily what transpired on January 26, Theuri said he thought his life had taken a turn for the worst after his accident. “I was washing the hay cutting machine when I accidentally got my hand chopped off,” he said.
KNH Chief Executive Officer Lily Koros said the operation was a major milestone in the country’s medical fraternity, adding that there was need for machine-driven factories, where such accidents are prone to occur, to be equipped with first aid facilities.
“Our factories now can bring in staff in case of such accidents. But the most important thing is for these factories to have cool boxes to increase the life-span of dismembered organs,” said Koros. In November 2016, surgeons at KNH successfully separated conjoined twins Blessing and Flavour, in a 23-hour operation.