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Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in partnership with and a team of doctors from Germany is running a 10-day project to provide subsidised heart surgery to about 40 patients 

In the programme, patients who suffer from heart block, a condition that affects the heart’s electrical system that controls the rate and rhythm of heartbeats, will get pacemaker surgeries at lower costs. Likewise, the patients, all of whom suffer from weak or irregular heartbeat, will have a pacemaker inserted just above their hearts to correct the anomaly.

It usually costs between Sh270,000 and Sh300,000 to insert the gadget. The German team of doctors are providing it thus all what these patients are expected to cover is the cost of using the facilities at KNH by only paying Sh20,000.

A pacemaker is a medical device that helps to control abnormal heart rhythms. It uses small amounts of electrical pulses to prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate. When the heart does not pump enough blood to the body, it causes symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting which at times can be misdiagnosed and by the time one seeks treatment, severe damage to organs has already been done.

The primary purpose of a pacemaker is to maintain an adequate heart rate, either because the heart’s natural pacemaker is not fast enough or there is a block in the heart’s electrical conduction system.

The project will see the patients given pacemakers that will not run out of battery until after 10 to 15 years when they will be replaced.

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