Meet Leah Osore of Nairobi, Kenya. At age 51, she became one of more than 500 beneficiaries of her country’s nationwide cardiac surgery program. Like many of her fellow Kenyans served by the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) initiative, Leah’s case had been waitlisted due to lack of personal funds. With Agile Global Health providing care management and the NHIF lifting the financial burden, Leah underwent her cardiac surgery – a double valve replacement for rheumatic disorders of both mitral and aortic valves – at the Karen Hospital in Nairobi.
Leah’s heart condition began with a sore throat. “I got treated, but shortly after I fell sick again,” explains Leah. “I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I had to be released from work in order to get treatment, but I never got better. I continued coughing and was still unwell.
“I was told about a free screening at a medical camp in Safari Park. After the doctor assessed me, he asked me if I had been told that I have a heart problem, because my heart was enlarged. I was not aware. I was shocked at the news because all along I knew only that I was sick from pneumonia.”
Leah was given medication to continue treating the pneumonia; at the same time, she rallied her courage and discussed her heart condition with her family. “My niece, who works Gurnanak Hospital, organized an appointment for me to do an electrocardiogram (ECG) test. That test revealed so much abnormality with my heart that I was advised to have surgery, which I could not afford at that moment. The doctor at Gurnanak prescribed additional medication to manage my heart condition in the meantime.”
But Leah’s heart condition was worsening; for her, medication could only serve as a temporary measure, giving her a little more time to source funds for surgery. At her next ECG, doctors discovered that one of her heart valves was leaking. A subsequent hospitalization confirmed a second valve leak. Her time was running out.
“My heart became worse by the day, because in as much as I was managing the heart condition with medicine, I need treatment which I could not afford,” Leah lamented. “In January 2017, I received a call from Agile Global Health, who told me about the NHIF @50 Cardiac Program for patients with heart conditions. I was not sure about the information at first,” Leah said, noting her initial doubt. Wasn’t fast, free cardiac surgery that would save her life too good to be true? “I decided to follow up because I’d met another patient during my hospitalizations who had also received a call about the NHIF @50 cardiac program. Luckily, the program was still on, and that is how I started pursuing my treatment. Agile began working on my approval, and I was taken in by the Karen Hospital, where my cardiac treatment was fully funded by the NHIF.
“Agile Global Health followed up on me from the commencement of my treatment to the time I was discharged,” Leah recalls from her experience. “I am very grateful to God, and to NHIF and Agile for the support they have given me.”
In the photograph above: Thanks to NHIF sponsorship and Agile Global Health care management under the NHIF @50 Cardiac Program, Leah Osore of Nairobi received a critical open-heart surgery after months of being waitlisted due to lack of funds. Today, she glows with good health and happily shares her incredible experience with others.
Agile Global Health
Agile Global Health (operating as A&K Global Health in select countries) is an Agile Health Systems company and a worldwide leader in realizing transparent, affordable, effective and innovative solutions to complex healthcare delivery challenges. We listen to local and national healthcare leaders in every country where we work, and then support their vision to improve their national health system’s accessibility, quality, and clinical outcomes. For patients, we connect you with the right care for your needs, from facilitating quality local and regional treatment to coordinating international medical travel; for healthcare funders and providers, we optimize your organizational impact by introducing transparency, control and customization to the medical, financial and experiential aspects of your clients’ medical journey. Contact us today to learn how we can support you.