During Christmas Break this year, I am in Western Kenya for A Better World to assist with the assessment of the surgical program at the Kendu Bay Hospital, and to help create a plan for how we can make the surgery program more sustainable. Over the last 27 years, A Better World has funded 10,000 surgeries for children through partnerships with surgeons from Finland and others who have helped to make these surgeries a success.
Now, we would like to work to ensure that there is a more sustainable program that is readily accessible to the community and where we can ensure that the patients have improved pre-operative optimization and post-operative care for improved outcomes.
I was grateful to be able to spend part of the day in the operating room at the Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital with Dr. Oteki who is in his final year of residency in orthopedic surgery and his partner Dr. Charyiut. The volume of emergency surgical cases, especially trauma cases that come through, keeps these two doctors incredibly busy. I could not help but notice the difference in the equipment and resources available to us at home and was impressed by the resourcefulness and patience that these doctors are able to maintain as they do their best to serve.
In the afternoon, we visited another hospital, the Nyanchwa Adventist Mission Hospital operated by two Doctors, husband and wife, from the Philippines who have lived and worked in Kenya for 14 years. The Solaces worked at Kendu Adventist Hospital for many years and have also agreed to provide their expertise in Obstetrics and Gynecology and General Surgery if needed.
We also visited a private operating room which the orthopedic surgeons run. The Kenyan Government insurance program will pay for patients to have surgery even if they receive the care from a privately-run clinic. This is helping to make the slightly better private services available to the average patient.
Dr. Victor Oteki and Dr. Charyiut are orthopedic surgeons based in Kisii, which is about one hour away from Kendu Adventist Hospital. They have agreed to operate on the children who require orthopedic surgery. These two young surgeons have a private clinic in Kisii and also work at the Public Hospital here, which would be the equivalent of a level one trauma center in Canada.
For the next few days, we will be in Kendu Bay assessing the hospital facilities there and how best we can assist in providing support that will make it possible for more children to have access to surgery.