by Lorraine Anyango.
“I’m feeling quite relieved, both financially and health-wise, I can now button my shirt after many years of pain.”
These were the words of 59-year-old Enoch Odhiambo, a father of three, after undergoing a successful surgery during the ongoing Neurosurgical camp at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH).
But even greater, Odhiambo whose work has been in the construction industry can now go back to work.
“My upper limbs started being numb in 2012, it got worse by the day, my left arm got so painful and my handwriting was affected and I couldn’t sign cheques, it was very expensive and I couldn’t afford half a million to have corrective surgery.” He added.
I had given up running my business, now I have energy, one needs hands to work, now I’ll get back and go back to work.” Odhiambo said in a ward at JOOTRH where he was recovering.
Odhiambo is part of over 40 patients sent to benefit from the neurosurgical camp ongoing at JOOTRH. The camp has brought neuroscience specialists from varied places to ease the need.
Kisumu’s County Governor, Prof. Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o said that Kisumu county holds the neuroscience camps to draw lessons for capacity building and the same will be replicated in the institution as it gets autonomous.
“Such camps bring skills that are not readily available, the time and intervention are good as well as intense.” Governor Professor Peter Anyang; Nyongo’ said.
“This capacity building will be continuous for neutron surgical training intended to graduate personnel with skills in the faculty.” Dr. George Rae, JOOTRH CEO added.
He said that JOOTRH is tapping virtue from around the world and is rapidly developing a mass of students with the necessary skills to reduce the number of people going to India and Nairobi for spinal surgeries.
Dr. Rae pointed out that some of the patients that have been operated on had quotations of up to 2 million shillings, they couldn’t receive help, and however the current camp has made it possible for them to undergo operations.
Since the camp started about 26 operations had been done from the 40 selected by the time we went to press, and the number kept increasing. Three theaters are being used for the operations. Over 200 patients were screened and only 40 qualified to undergo varied procedures.
JOOTRH has only one neurosurgeon in the region, Dr. Lee Ogudha, he was joined by others from spine hospital in Nairobi and another from Atlanta Georgia.
The doctors are also working with a multi-disciplinary team comprising a team of Physiotherapists and nurses, in total about 100 professionals in the medical field have joined hands to make the camp successful.
The camp has been organized by the Kisumu Neuron Science Initative and this is the sixth camp since its inception.
Dr. Odero Duncan, a resident registrar from Maseno University said that they have been able to address brain and spinal cord diseases which can be managed surgically, adding that those being attended to the camp had chronic back pains and tumors around the spine.
“We have been reviewing patients based on symptomatic investigations and those who qualified to undergo surgery were enlisted to be beneficiaries of these camps.” Dr . Odero added.