Witnessing the first heart surgery and pacemaker implantations at the Kericho County Referral Hospital

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Witnessing the first heart surgery and pacemaker implantations at the Kericho County Referral Hospital

History was witnessed when a team of cardiologists from the Unites States of States of America came together with their counterparts in Kenya to perform conduct the first ever cardiac pacemaker implantation procedures successfully at the Kericho County Referral Hospital.

This was done at the opening day of a week-long free medical camp which was organized by the County Government of Kericho and it marked the first time that the heart-related surgical procedure was being done in a public medical facility outside the Capital City, Nairobi.

The surgeries came as a result of a trip by Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony to the United States of America between November 28 and December 7, 2017.

Prof Chepkwony glowed with pride after he and his Bomet counterpart Joyce Laboso entered the hospital’s theatre to witness the remarkable event. “This is a historic moment and I am very excited!” the Kericho County boss exclaimed at the beginning of an interview with journalists.

“I have waited for this for a long time. Many people from Kericho and the surrounding areas will be able to undergo different forms of cardiologic examinations while several will benefit from the free pacemaker implantations.”

Prof Chepkwony organized the week-long free medical camp while on an official visit to the United States of America in late November 2017. The governor added that he will work with the US partners to set up a one-of-a-kind modern pacemaker implantation center at Kericho’s largest hospital so that those in need of such services can access them at the facility and will not have to travel long distances.

Dr Laboso lauded the partnership between the County Government of Kericho and the University of Michigan s one worth emulating, noting that it was becoming clearer by the day that devolution was truly bringing great benefit to Kenyans. She added that with more medical services which required Kenyans to travel long distances and sometimes fly out of the country to access them being brought closer to them in their counties, Kenyans were beginning to feel firsthand the impact of devolution.

“A few years ago, it was unimaginable that such a surgery could be held in Kericho or Bomet. In my opinion, this is what devolution was meant to do. This is really historic and it is important for Kenyans to appreciate the impact of devolution in all sectors, especially health,” she said.

Prof Thomas Crawford, a Consultant Cardiologist from the University of Michigan who led the team of cardiologists who conducted the surgery, noted that the procedure had been a major success. Prof Crawford assured Prof Chepkwony that his team will also ready to work with the county government of Kericho to develop expertise within the county health system so that the Kericho County Referral Hospital can continue offering the surgeries even in their absence.

“We do not want to come here only once, but we will be coming repeatedly until we put together a process that us self-sustaining and ensure people understand what needs to be done. To have a successful pacemaker implantation, we need around 6 to 8 people running different tasks,” he said.