MTRH Performs Seven Open Heart Surgeries

Seven open heart surgeries were conducted last month at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), representing the first successful open heart surgeries in Kenya conducted outside of Nairobi and Mombasa.

Surgeons from MTRH, Moi University and Kenyatta National Hospital performed the seven surgeries from September 3 through September 7.

A patient being treated in the Cardiac Care Unit of Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital

A patient being treated in the Cardiac Care Unit of Moi Teaching & Referral Hospital

Four of the patients received double valve replacements and three received single valve replacements, with each operation lasting approximately four hours. More than one month after the surgeries, all patients are recovering well.

Dr. Wilson K. Aruasa, CEO of MTRH, congratulated the surgery team, led by Prof. Otsyula, Dr. Ondigo, Dr. Barasa and Dr. Kituyi. “We want to make these surgeries regular as we also work on providing cardiac catheterization and other specialty surgeries,” said Dr. Aruasa. He added that patients from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan could also benefit from future surgeries.

AMPATH’s North American partners did not participate in performing the surgeries, demonstrating the success of the Kenyan team and the capacity built at MTRH. Lindsay Haskett, RN, Clinical Faculty at the IU School of Nursing, was involved in training nursing staff in cardiac care and developing protocols. Dr. Peter Kussin, Professor of Medicine at Duke University, was involved in training and preparation for the cardiac surgery program.

AMPATH has supported cardiac education, care, and research at MTRH for more than eight years, with a long-term commitment from Duke University’s Dr. John Lawrence, Adjunct Assistant Professor, and other AMPATH cardiologists in training certified Kenyan cardiologists in quality care. Additionally, MTRH’s ten-bed Cardiac Care Unit built in 2013 was supported by the Hock Family Foundation and the Duke Hubert-Yeargan Center for Global Health.