Kenya’s potential as a medical tourism destination cannot be more pronounced if recent advancements in kidney transplants are not highlighted.
And despite India still being the preferred medical destination for most of the patients from Africa due to affordability and quality of service, for the last six years, Kenya has been positioning itself as a medical hub, taking services to other East African countries, and even offering credit to patients who finance health bills out of their own pockets.
With the growth in technology; many specialized medical practitioners in the region, and a sprouting private sector that’s doing high tech surgeries, the country is now in the world map of health.
The latest of these advancements has seen 80 delicate kidney transplants between November 2018 and February 2020. Dr Srinivas Murthy, a consultant nephrologist at Mediheal group of hospitals, Kenya, says all the 80 transplants he has performed in that period has recorded a success rate of over 95 per cent at one year with all the patients returning to their lifestyle and professions.
“Kidney disease is very common all over the world affecting almost 10 percent of the world population in varying degrees, resulting in many people ending up in life-long dialysis due to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), as kidney disease is known in medical terms,” he said in an interview.
Murthy said kidney transplant is more preferred than dialysis; both in financial terms and quality of life, because it enables a patient to return to work and normal life.
“This is very troublesome and costly, both for the patients; the insurance companies, and the government. More so, all the expenditure comes at the loss of productivity from the patient who will not be able to work because of the dialysis schedules,” Murthy said.
However, access to kidney transplantation, he said, is limited in Third World countries particularly in the African continent. Many patients have to travel to other countries like India; South Africa and Europe seeking transplantation so much so adding cost and travel difficulties on the patients’ side.
Gokul Prem Kumar
Vice-President Business Relations
Mediheal Group of Hospitals
Monday, June 15, 2020 / PEOPLE DAILY – NEWS BEAT