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Kericho County hospital conducts first double chamber pacemaker implantation

By Sarah Njagi – Kna Kericho
The Kericho County Referral Hospital becomes the first public hospital in the South Rift to conduct double chamber pacemaker implantations in Kenya.
The delicate operations are being conducted by a team of cardiology specialists from Michigan State University (MSU) in collaboration with doctors from Kericho county referral hospital and Moi Teaching and referral hospital, Eldoret.
Last year in February, the hospital conducted open heart surgery and single pacemaker implantations on 17 patients for free by a team of cardiology specialists from Michigan State University (MSU) in collaboration with World Medical Relief (WMR) and doctors from Kericho County.
At least 20 patients from across the country with heart conditions will benefit during the one-week heart surgery medical camp at the facility, which kicked off yesterday.
Speaking to the press at the main hospital theatre grounds last week after observing a patient undergoing heart surgery, Kericho governor Professor Paul Chepkwony said the facility was capable of conducting heart operations as it was fully fitted with highly advanced medical equipment and trained medical personnel to undertake the procedures.
“The milestone has been made possible by our heavy investment in the health sector through the installation of highly advanced medical equipment at the hospital, regular staff training and our partnership with the Michigan State University.” said Prof Chepkwony.
He added that a single pacemaker would cost as much as Shs 3m, but patients would benefit from the delicate operations free of charge.
Kericho Governor advised residents to seek early diagnosis and treatment to prevent cardiovascular diseases whose risk factors included hypertension and diabetes.
In an interview with KNA, two beneficiaries from last year’s free heart surgery medical camp at the Kericho County referral hospital; Ms Martha Tanui, 60, said she had been given only two months to live after she was diagnosed with irregular heart rhythms but after a successful pacemaker implantation surgery she was given a new lease of life. She added that has been living with a pacemaker for the last 11 years.
A lecturer at Technical University of Nairobi, Philip Ochieng, 76, said he suffered heart failure three years ago and commended Kericho Governor for saving his life.
“I was the only one given a dual chamber pacemaker implantation in February last year. My case was serious; I was very dizzy, falling off, collapsing but now I am well. I am a witness of life saving from Kericho and I am very grateful to the Governor.” said Ochieng.
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