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A NEW HOPE

First hip replacement surgery at Voi hospital

The orthopaedic team performed the six-hour operation on 67-year-old Jefferson Mashanga

In Summary
  • Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant.
  • Initially, patients seeking joint replacement orthopaedic surgery would be forced to travel to either Mombasa or Nairobi for treatment.
67-year-old Jefferson Mashanga during an interview at the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, Taita Taveta county. Doctors successfully conducted the first ever hip replacement surgery on his broken hip bone.
A NEW HOPE: 67-year-old Jefferson Mashanga during an interview at the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, Taita Taveta county. Doctors successfully conducted the first ever hip replacement surgery on his broken hip bone.
Image: SOLOMON MUINGI

Doctors at the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, Taita Taveta county on Tuesday successfully conducted their first ever hip replacement surgery.

The orthopaedic team led by Dr Mustapha Masai performed the six-hour critical surgery on 67-year-old Jefferson Mashanga.

Mashanga, an elder at Kajire village in Voi, said he had lost hope for recovery after he fell off and broke his hip while chopping grass for his cattle months ago.

He said the critical medical procedure rekindled a new hope of running his dairy farming duties.

"I thought I would never walk again. I can now walk, sit, and hopefully get back to participate in a variety of community development activities in my capacity as a village elder," a smiling Mashanga said.

When he was first brought to the facility, doctors recommended surgery and he had to wait until the procedure was made available.

He did not have money to seek treatment in Nairobi where he had been directed to visit.

Introduction of the medical procedure is now a major boost for the health facility along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway.

Orthopedic surgeon Dr Mustapha Masai displays a scan image of 67-year-old Jefferson Mashanga hip bone at the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, Taita Taveta county on Tuesday.
JOINT REPLACEMENT SURGERY: Orthopedic surgeon Dr Mustapha Masai displays a scan image of 67-year-old Jefferson Mashanga hip bone at the Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi, Taita Taveta county on Tuesday.
Image: SOLOMON MUINGI

Moi Hospital has an expansive catchment from neighbouring Kwale, Kajiado and Makueni counties.

The facility also serves as a referral medical center for travellers involved in accidents along the busy Mombasa-Nairobi highway and Voi-Taveta-Holili road.

Initially, patients seeking joint replacement orthopaedic surgery would be forced to travel to either Mombasa or Nairobi for treatment.

Dr Masai, an orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital said the procedure will ease long distance travels and cut money spent while seeking treatment at far away facilities.

Hip replacement is a surgical procedure in which the hip joint is replaced by a prosthetic implant.

“During the procedure, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of the hip joint and replaces them with parts usually constructed of metal, ceramic and very hard plastic. This artificial joint helps reduce pain and improves function,” he said.

The surgeon said the medical team is keenly strategising on how to perform other major surgeries. He urged the county government to continue supporting the hospital.

Health executive John Mwakima said introduction of the surgery marks a great milestone towards enhancing healthcare in the region.

"Before, these kinds of medical operations used to be done abroad. Fortunately, these procedures are being witnessed within the counties, courtesy of devolution," Mwakima said.

Residents are now able to access the same locally within Taita Taveta county.

"We appreciate our team of medical experts for working together to draft this history," he said.

Over the last three years, the health services department has implemented various development projects which have transformed the healthcare system.

They include the Moi hospital cancer centre and Sickle cell and Hemophilia centre. Others are the Australian Aid and the Fred Hollows Foundation-funded eye centre.

Mwakima called on residents to enrol for the National Hospital Insurance Fund, for ease of access to affordable health care services offered by the county government.

 

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)