The International Collaboration of Essential Surgery is partnering with the Henry Family Advised Fund, Smile Train, Mount Kenya University, the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA), and the Ministry of Health of Kenya to enhance health service delivery.
The partnership will help facilitate treatment of children born with congenital defects, mothers suffering from obstructive labor complications such as obstetric fistula, and trauma victims.
According to the co-director of the Henry Family Advised Fund Dr. Jaymie Henry, the exercise will be phased out so as to eliminate the backlog of approximately 7,000 clefts in Kenya.
They will begin with a national surgical capacity study that assessed and qualified level 4 hospitals across the 47 counties in Kenya and their surgical workforce (clinicians and non-clinicians) to help deliver safe and cost effective basic and comprehensive surgeries.
They will also ensure adequate availability of surgical equipment, trained health workforces and mobile connectivity.
Case detection for neglected clefts, cleft eradication, and community health worker and surgical training will be piloted in Meru County.
While giving a public lecture at Mount Kenya University main campus in Thika, Dr. Henry said every day, people are dying because of medical conditions and simple injuries that can be averted with minor procedures.
Of the 234 million surgical procedures performed worldwide each year, 75% of them benefit the richest third of our global population.
This means that in some countries, the global population receives less than 4% of surgical procedures.
She said neglected surgical diseases (NSDs) are conditions that have a public health burden for which cost-effective interventions currently exist. They include cleft lip and palate, cataracts, clubfoot, hernia, obstetric fistula, and neglected injury.
The Henry Family Advised Fund founded by Dr. Henry and her husband Orion Henry, promotes surgical interventions that save lives and prevent permanent disability and life-threatening conditions.
Dr. Jaymie said that Mount Kenya University is collaborating with the Henry Family Advised Fund in implementing a pilot program in Meru County that recruits and trains the community health workforce to identify patients with neglected surgical conditions using an innovative mobile tele-health application.
For the first phase of the pilot study, every child suffering with a cleft lip and/or palate will then be referred for treatment by our partner organization, Smile Train.
She said MKU and the Henry Family Advised Fund are committed to working with Smile Train to train physicians in delivering safe and cost-effective cleft surgeries.
She commended the County Government of Meru, for its dedication in supporting partnerships to enhance good health and comprehensive surgical care of its population.
He said the Meru County pilot eradication program is scheduled to end by December 31st 2018 after which the Government will analyze the results and lessons learned to help scale up the same in the other 46 counties in Kenya.
The Henry Family Advised Fund and her partners have organized a side event alongside the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), titled “Eradicating Neglected Surgical Diseases: Advancing Universal Health Coverage through Surgical Care”, to be held on Thursday September 20, 2018, in New York.