Sally Chesang never thought she’d see her young son undergo open heart surgery. She especially didn’t expect him to receive this specialized procedure in their home country of Kenya.
But on October 24 at Gertrude’s Children Hospital in Nairobi, four-year-old Kevin Kimutai became the first patient to receive cardiac surgery in Kenya under A&K Global Health’s implementation of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) Cardiac Care Indicator Project.
Kevin was born weighing just 1.5 kilograms, or 3.3 pounds. His growth was abnormal; he was much smaller than other children his age. His parents later learned that Kevin suffered from congenital heart disease, a condition requiring surgical intervention and complex care management.
“When my son was brought back to the general ward from the ICU, people flooded into his room in disbelief,” Sally said, recalling the sense of pride during Kevin’s recovery as the clinical team and program managers realized what they had achieved. “This was a successful open heart surgery, conducted by Kenyan doctors at a Kenyan hospital, for a Kenyan patient whose life depended on the procedure. It’s an important turning point for the individuals involved as well as for the country,” affirmed Stephen Masinde, A&K Global Health’s Kenya National Director.
“More and more people need to know about this NHIF cardiac program because there is great need out there,” Sally added. “In Nandi where we come from, people still don’t believe that my son has received treatment that is fully paid by NHIF, considering the long waiting lists in hospitals for such conditions. Many people on the cardiac waiting list die before they get to their names for treatment.”
The cardiac program is designed to begin preventing such tragedies by infusing funding, improving the triage process for local or international treatment decisions, and supporting local healthcare professionals in expanding their clinical capabilities. The ambitious initiative is the result of years of effort by the NHIF towards addressing both financial and clinical hurdles to Kenyan citizens’ consumption of healthcare services.
And as Kevin’s experience indicates, the project is off to a strong start. “I’m very grateful to Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital and their first class customer service. Their staff relations are top notch – I could hardly tell the difference between a guard and a nurse because of how each individual treated us with such care and concern,” said his mother.
“I am also grateful to A&K Global Health for the good work you are doing. Keep it up! Please come and visit us in Nandi so that more people can hear and know about you.”
It’s been our pleasure supporting your family and managing Kevin’s progress, Sally. We look forward to continuing to spread the word throughout Kenya about this critical project. And we can’t wait to share more stories of beneficiaries just like Kevin!
In the photograph above: Four-year-old Kevin Kimutai glows with good health just weeks after he became the first patient to undergo open heart surgery in Kenya under the new NHIF Cardiac Care Indicator Project. His surgery, managed by A&K Global Health, was conducted at Gertrude’s Children’s Hospital in Nairobi.
A&K Global Health
A&K Global Health is a worldwide leader in realizing transparent, affordable, effective and innovative solutions to complex health challenges. We connect you with the right care for your needs, from coordinating international medical travel to facilitating quality local and regional treatment. We also optimize the impact of health institutions by introducing transparency, control and customization to the medical, financial and experiential aspects of your journey. A&K Global Health is dedicated to empowering you to reach your highest health. Contact us today to learn how we can support you.