By JEMIMAH MUENI, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 31- Kenyatta National Hospital has conducted its first ever weight reduction surgery known as Bariatric Surgery, which enables patients to have sustained weight loss and also normalize blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, resolve joint problems among other benefits.
Acting Chief Executive Officer KNH Evanson Kamuri on Friday said the surgery was a great milestone as it’s the first one to be conducted in a Kenyan public hospital.
“A multidisciplinary team of surgeons, doctors and nurses successfully carried out first Bariatric surgery of its kind in KNH on 66-yr old John Muthama who before had been diagnosed with class 3 obesity,” he said.
Muthama was weighing 176kgs with a BMI of 59.5kg/m2 and had developed multiple problems as a result of the obesity.
Kamuri said Kenyatta is now adequately equipped to carry out weight reduction surgeries.
“I encourage Kenyans grappling with weight issues to visit Kenyatta because the government has built three more complexes for minor surgeries and now we can comfortably conduct three surgeries in a day,” he said.
He said more than one hundred Kenyans travel abroad every year to have weight reduction surgery which is quite expensive and some cannot afford.
According to lead surgeon Kennedy Odede, Muthama underwent sleeve gastrectomy a procedure involving removal of about 80 per cent of the stomach leaving a tube-shaped stomach the size and shape of a banana. This restricts the amount of food a person is able to consume which consequently leads to weight loss.
Bariatric surgery is carried out on persons with BMI above 40 especially to people who experience health problems like type 2 diabetes or heart disease.
Dr Odede said this was the best option for Muthama since they had explored all other methods of losing weight and they were ineffective.
Odede said now there is no need for Kenyans to travel abroad to have the surgery as it can be conducted in the country at a cheaper cost.
“This surgery abroad costs not less than Sh1.5 million. The same surgery we have done in one and half hours and it cost less than Sh500,000,” said Dr Odede.
Dr Odede however said there is increased burden of non-communicable diseases to health care system, and called upon Kenyans to embrace healthy lifestyles to avoid being obese and diseases that come with it.