Nairobi 21st August, 2023… Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital (KUTRRH) today unveiled an advanced endoscopy tower. The advanced endoscopy tower is a transformative addition to KUTRRH’s medical capabilities.
In her remarks during the unveiling ceremony, KUTRRH Board Chairperson noted that the state-of-the-art equipment’s acquisition was made possible by the government through the Ministry of Health in collaboration with valued partners, including Fuji and Science Scope. From her observation, this will enable KUTRRH to offer critical procedures previously limited in availability.
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The advanced endoscopy tower can perform:
- Upper endoscopy (OGD),
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP),
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS).
This milestone is a significant step towards KUTRRH’s mission of enhancing the health and well-being of Kenyans and global citizens through providing patient-centered and evidence-based healthcare.
What Is Endoscopy?
Endoscopy is a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure that evaluates the upper esophagogastroduodenoscopy (OGD) and lower (colonoscopy) digestive tract. These procedures are commonly indicated for symptoms such as bloating, unexplained weight loss, bleeding, change in bowel habits among others.
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP is a procedure to diagnose and treat problems in the liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, and pancreas, including gallstones, inflammatory strictures(scars), leaks from trauma or surgery, and cancer. It combines X-ray and the use of an endoscope—a long, flexible, lighted tube. ERCP can be performed for diagnostic and therapeutic reasons.
It is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a camera device (endoscope) together with high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound). It is used to diagnose conditions in the upper GI tract (esophagus, stomach, and duodenum), the lower GI tract (rectum), and nearby organs, including the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. Combined with Doppler imaging, nearby blood vessels can also be evaluated.
Endoscopic ultrasound works similarly to abdominal ultrasound, except the source of the sound waves is inside your body. As the high-frequency sound waves travel from the echoendoscope, they hit tissues of various densities and bounce back. For example, endoscopic ultrasound can pick up outlines of a tumor or a cyst, which the computer then processes and displays as lighter and darker areas on the screen. Because the sound waves don’t need to pass through the skin and muscle to reach internal organs, endoscopic ultrasound offers a better view of the GI tract and nearby organs than abdominal ultrasound. It may also be more precise in identifying small tumors and cysts that other imaging methods, such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computerized tomography), can miss.
Affordable Cost of Treatment
During the unveiling of the advanced endoscopy tower, Prof. Olive Mugenda noted that some of the procedures currently available in major private hospitals cost as much as Ksh. 850,000 (eight hundred and fifty thousand shillings). These advanced procedures will be available at a reduced cost of Ksh. 100,000 (one hundred thousand shillings) at KUTRRH, with the cost being fully borne by NHIF for registered members and their beneficiaries. This, from her observation, will go a long way in availing high-quality, specialized care to all in line with the government’s efforts towards universal health coverage.