KENYA – New healthcare milestone as Kenya has successfully conducted the McKeown’s Esophagectomy surgery for the treatment of esophageal cancer at the Kenyatta University Teaching Research and Referral Hospital (KUTRRH) in Nairobi.

Esophageal cancer has rapidly become a global concern, it is a disease in which malignant cancer cells form in the esophagus tissues mainly associated with heavy smoking and alcohol use resulting in the Barrett esophagus condition that affects the lower part of the oesophagus and increases the cancer risk.

The most common symptoms of esophageal cancer are weight loss and trouble swallowing especially a feeling of food stuck in the throat and choking on food with some patients which gradually worsens over time with an increase in pain when swallowing as the oesophagus narrows from the growing cancer.

McKeown esophagogastrostomy is the applicable surgery to accomplish resection of esophageal cancer for most patients, the technique has numerous advantages including less chance of local recurrence, anastomosis in neck easier to manage if leak occurs and less need to expand the thoracic incision.

The minimal invasive operation was conducted by a well-coordinated KUTRRH Theatre Team involving the lead surgeon Dr. Enoch Makori assisted by Dr Mustafa and Dr Mercy Njenga along with an anesthetists team lead by cardiothoracic anesthesiologist Dr. David Waruingi.

The KUTRRH anesthetic team that was part of the surgical team also comprised of Dr. Brian Atandi and Ms. Salome Wanjiru who were assisted by Nurse Samuel Karanu under close supervision of Dr. David Waruingi to help the surgeons during the advanced thoracic surgery.

New intervention for improving maternal and child health

Meanwhile, Kenya’ leading National Referral Hospital has introduced the rooming-in global practice which entails keeping the mother and baby in the same room unless there is a medical reason warranting maternal-infant separation in an effort to improve maternal and newborn healthcare.

Rooming-in as standard care at KUTRRH will further enable breastfeeding success as babies are with their mothers often, the practice aids in reduced opportunities for weight loss and babies have lower bilirubin levels.

Moreover, KUTRRH provides a hospitable and friendly environment for maternity and other health services, high-quality specialist service as well as training for new mothers and couples on care for newborns aimed at helping both parents in caring for the newborn(s).

Guiding both parents on how to care for the newborn and continue with the care at home during the couples training is also crucial for maternal and child health as participation by both parents is credited with enabling better health outcomes for the mother and her newborn(s).

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