Embu Level Five Hospital on Friday made yet another milestone when it became the first county run facility to carry out a successful kidney transplant, in a groundbreaking operation that lasted 24 hours.
The recipient, a 39-year old primary school teacher successfully received the organ from his brother, 36.
Hospital Chief Executive Officer, Dr Moses Njue said the recipient was recuperating at the institution’s ICU and was breathing on his own while his brother could be seen walking around the medical facility.
The beneficiary had last year gone for treatment in India and exhausted his funds before the delicate procedure was conducted.
A family source said they had spent about Sh800,000 they raised through the sale of family property, seeking treatment in India but they did not succeed.
The landmark procedure was conducted by nephrologists from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret led by Dr Phillip Cheptinga together with a team from Embu led by hospital CEO, Dr Moses Njue.
It was witnessed by Embu Governor Martin Wambora and University of Embu deputy vice chancellor Kiplagat Kotut and Embu Health Executive, Dr Jamleck Muturi who stayed in the theatre following the blow-by-blow account for about five hours.
The exercise which began at 8am Thursday and was completed slightly before 8am Friday as anxious family and friends waited.
Dr Cheptinga explained that the exercise took long because one of the recipient’s blood vessels had a clot and thus could not immediately sustain the huge amount of blood flow required.
“The donor was in place by 7am and by 10am, we had the kidney and we embarked on transplanting. Some of the (recipient’s) blood vessels had clotted and become very thin and thus could not sustain,” he said.
Dr Njue said the teacher had been undergoing dialysis for close to 10 years.
A neighbour said they raised funds for him to travel to India for a transplant but the amount got deflated.
“They exhausted the amount raised without getting treatment sought. They have been fundraising locally and when he heard that we can do it, he approached the hospital seeking treatment,” he said.
Dr Muturi said experts from MTRH and have been training local doctors and holding discussions for the last one and a half years ahead of the transplant.
Dr Njue said the transplant’s success would open doors for more procedures, saying that 30 patients were already lined up for the procedure.
Already, 109 patients are currently undergoing dialysis at Embu Level Five hospital and has already secured one neurologist from Cuba.
Embu Level Five hospital made history in January, when it became the first public institution in Mt Kenya and upper Eastern region to conduct a successful brain surgery.
The delicate operation to remove a blood clot in the brain was carried out by a team of five doctors and five nurses.