Agile Global Health Blog

Open-heart surgery beneficiary encourages other cardiac patients

Jul 25, 2017 / Agile Global Health

Meet Jane Wanjiku Kamau, one of the latest beneficiaries of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) cardiac program. Jane underwent mitral valve replacement at the Mater Hospital in Nairobi on April 5th, 2017.

“After her surgery, Jane came to Agile Global Health’s Nairobi office to express her gratitude, and to chat one-on-one with me about her journey to treatment,” said Eva Gulavi, our Public Relations & Communications Officer. “Jane was very excited to share this information with us because she understands the dynamics and challenges cardiac patients experience, and she is passionate about reaching out to others – especially moms – to show them they can make it out alive, and there’s really nothing to fear.”

Though her story ends joyously, Jane’s path to healing has been long and marked with heartache. “I found out about my heart condition during my second pregnancy in 2006,” she shared. “One fateful day, I woke up and started vomiting, then fainted and was rushed to the hospital. My symptoms led to a heart check-up, and I was diagnosed with rheumatic mitral stenosis. My pregnancy had to be terminated because of my heart condition.

“At this time, I did not have money for treatment. I ended up in Kenyatta National Hospital because it was somehow affordable, but was waitlisted for surgery for two years while taking warfarin medication just to manage my condition. My disease affected all aspects of my life…even my marriage was not spared, as my husband left when my heart condition became more demanding.

“In 2010 with medical cover through my employer, I was able to have my first heart procedure (ballooning) at the Mater Hospital. But early this year, the previous symptoms recurred severely. I was reviewed by Professor Jowi: she recommended a valve replacement due to the severity of my condition. She also told me about the cardiac program, which provides NHIF funding and Agile Global Health management for such procedures.”

When our team visited Jane at the Mater Hospital just before her surgery, she was upbeat and looking forward to the procedure. Now, Jane encourages other patients on their cardiac treatment journey whenever she goes for her review check-ups. She is not afraid of showing her scar as proof that she underwent an open-heart surgery and is well.

“My recovery was miraculous,” Jane said. “I was encouraged a lot by the people around me, including the visit from Agile Global Health.” Her attitude and strong support team had a real clinical impact, too: Jane’s doctor was so amazed at how fast she recovered from the ICU that he created a video of her progress to be used for medical training.

“Being a single mom kept me going because I want to be there for my daughter in the day of celebration,” Jane said. “I do not want to be represented: I want to be present.”

In her gratitude, Jane also mentioned the peace of mind she had when going into surgery that the NHIF would settle her bills, and finances would not be her headache. “She said many patients are made even sicker thinking about demanding treatment costs,” said Ms. Gulavi. “After our interview, Jane went straight to our National Director’s office to thank the NHIF, through Agile Global Health, for touching her heart.”

Jane is one of more than 600 patients for whom we have managed, or are managing, cardiac care through the NHIF program. Join her: if you or a loved one needs cardiac treatment, contact Agile Global Health today to learn how we can help.

In the photograph above: Agile Global Health’s Kenya National Director, Stephen Masinde, welcomes our former patient Jane Wanjiku Kamau to our Nairobi offices. Three months after her successful open-heart surgery through the NHIF-funded, Agile-managed cardiac program, Jane paid a visit to the Agile Global Health team to express her gratitude and share her story.

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.

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