Kamuzu Central Hospital conducts first ever brain surgery

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Neurosurgeon Dr. Ken-Keller Kumwenda led a team that conducted the first ever brain tumour surgery at the Kamuzu Central Hospital this week.

Kumwenda supported by a team of local doctors, nurses and anaesthetists conducted the surgical operation on a 37-year-old woman who was diagnosed with brain tumour.

Kumwenda and his team

The woman had been complaining of severe headache which was not responding to medications and was associated with progressive loss of vision.

She later went to a private hospital for a Computed Tomography (CT) scan of the brain where the brain tumour described as a craniopharyngioma was diagnosed.

This week, Dr. Kumwenda and his team carried out a five hour surgery to remove the tumour which was located deep at a critical area of the brain.

Kumwenda told the local media that the patient has since embarked on a path of recovery which has so far been smooth.

“Brain tumours may cause effects that have an impact on your quality of life. They can affect different parts of the brain which control different functions. This means that the effects of a brain tumour you may experience depends on the location, its size and its aggressiveness,” he said.

He however said that there are many patients who suffer from such conditions of the brain but many of them go undiagnosed something which puts one’s life at risk.

“Brain tumours may cause effects that have an impact on your quality of life. They can affect different parts of the brain which control different functions. This means that the effects of a brain tumour you may experience depends on the location, its size and its aggressiveness,” he said

Commenting on the operation, Kamuzu Central hospital Director Dr. Jonathan Ngoma was happy that the patient has been treated at the hospital rather than being referred to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre or abroad.

He however noted that there is a lack of qualified neurosurgeons and equipment like CT scan at the hospital.

“Malawi has only two practicing neurosurgeons for a population of over 16 million people, this is against the WHO recommended ratio of 1 neurosurgeon to 100,000 population, therefore we need to have more neurosurgeons,” he said.

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