Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana has opened up on a health care that saw him spend 11 days at the Nairobi Hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a growth in his back.
Governor Kibwana along with his wife Nazi and brother, who serves as Health CEC in Makueni, decided to seek medical attention after exhibiting unusual symptoms.
They consulted Dr. Mutiso, the most senior physician at Makueni County Referral Hospital.
The governor revealed that he experienced general body pains for over a year. In an opinion piece published by the Nation, he intimated that he experienced unending pain in his chest, back, kidney, arms and legs. This was subsequently followed by persistent headaches and general malaise.
Dr. Mutiso was reluctant about examining the governor owing to his high profile. It took a revelation from Kivutha’s brother that the governor had undergone past surgery at Makindu Level 4 Hospital for the doctor to agree to offer consultation.
After a series of tests in Nairobi and one done in South Africa, the doctor recommended a radial examination at Machakos Imaging Centre. An MRI test conducted by another doctor revealed that the governor had a growth at the tail of his neck and the beginning of his chest.
The doctor explained that the growth was a sequence of blood vessels forming a mass instead of each being a distinct entity. The medic explained that growth was attached to the spinal cord and was exerting pressure on it.
Still in shock, Kibwana was concerned about the growth possibly being cancerous. However, the doctor assured him the growth was benign.
After a consultative meeting, it was decided that the growth needed to be removed through surgery as if it would burst and cause internal bleeding if allowed to grow. A depressed spinal cord would also cause paralysis and stroke.
He was later booked admitted into hospital on May 14, 2021 in preparation for the surgery the next day.
“We had faith in the neurosurgeon. He was as good as any other specialist doctor abroad,” Kibwana confided.
On May 15, at about 3.pm, the governor was taken to theater for what was intended to be a three-hour surgery. The surgery, however, took six and a half hours as the ball of blood vessels needed more time to untangle.
While recovering in his ward, his oxygen levels dropped. A medical examination revealed presence of blood clots, and treatment begun immediately.
“Later, I was told that many patients, especially in the public sector, die if such blood clots are not diagnosed and treated promptly,” the governor stated.
He expressed the need to restructure and revamp the healthcare system so that any Kenyan could access quality healthcare within the country.
“Through my medical insurance and NHIF, I was able to access first-class services. Had I gone abroad, the cost would have probably been five or more times higher,” Kibwana reiterated.
Kibwana reached out to the country’s leaders to share details of their medical conditions with Kenyans. He said that the ordeal made him re-evaluate himself as an individual and as a leader.
He exclaimed that most political leaders in the country were trapped in patron-clientele politics and are afraid of rocking the system. Those that have tried are served with anti-corruption cases and lose advantage they enjoyed with tenders and other state favors.
Another governor, Kiraitu Murungi, recently revealed that he had gone through a ‘Damascus Moment” when battling the coronavirus.
He stated that he questioned himself on what he had done with his lie and whether he genuinely served the people.