• About 50 surgeries are being done every day by 33 surgeons
• The team organises a free medical camp at Maragua Level 5 Hospital every year
About 1,000 patients will benefit from free surgeries conducted by a team of Spanish doctors at Maragua Level 4 Hospital in Murang’a.
The surgeries started on Monday. The exercise is expected to last 14 days.
The team has already conducted 100 surgeries since the free medical camp started.
The doctors, who have been pitching camp at the hospital every year for the last three years, have conducted more than 2,000 surgeries.
The team has conducted two medical camps at the hospital this year after realising that there was an increase in non-communicable diseases in the region.
In July, the team was overwhelmed by the number of patients who listed for surgery.
Lead doctor Victoria Rodes urged more doctors to enlist.
“We attend these medical camps during their annual leave and stay in the hospital hostels so that we can check on our patients day and night,” the medic said.
Rodes said there has been an ongoing collaboration between Murang’a county and the Spanish government to facilitate free surgeries.
“We have a team of doctors doing initial check-ups while another gets the histology of patients to know if their tumours are malignant for appropriate treatment,” the medic said.
The team conducts 45 to 50 surgeries every day, with six patients operated on at the same time in two theaters.
“At the end of the day, we are fulfilling our Hippocratic Oath to serve patients and it takes us closer to God,” Rodes said.
The hospital’s medical superintendent Stephen Ngige said local medics have been conducting their own medical camps through a programme initiated by the county government.
Through the Tiba Mashinani programme, nurses treat patients in their homes in a bid to reach out to the poor.
The programme helped identify non-communicable diseases, especially cancer, as critical areas needing urgent attention, he said.
They have been reaching out to patients outside the county in Kiandutu slums in Thika town, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Korogocho and Mathare areas. Doctors check on patients and refer them to the medical camp for surgeries.
Ngige said the Spanish doctors are treating throat cancers, thyroid tumors, thyroglosol duct cysts, carotid body tumours, breast tumours and recurrent abdominal hernias.
“We have seen many patients turning up with such disorders and benefiting from the camp,” Ngige said.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria praised the Spanish government for helping to save patients’ lives and relieving them of the burden of seeking costly surgical treatment.
“I just saw a colon cancer patient undergoing surgery, and I was touched because that is the kind of treatment that costs families a fortune,” he said.
He said the county will send a team of medics to Spain to undergo training on modern medical technologies, including bloodless surgeries.
The county will also work on a framework that will take the partnership with the Spanish government to posterity.
“It is appalling that no fatalities have been recorded over the years that the doctors have been conducting the free surgeries,” the governor said.