, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 25 – The one-and-a-half year old boy who has a bullet lodged in his head after Sunday’s gun attack at a Likoni church, will now be operated on after two weeks due to swelling on his brain.
Speaking after receiving baby Satrine Osinya at the Kenyatta National Hospital on Tuesday, the hospital’s head of neurosurgery Gichuru Mwangi explained that the period will also be used to clean and sterilise the wound in preparation for surgery.
He indicated that Satrine who was accompanied by his father from Mombasa will also be given antibiotics and remain under close observation to monitor the swelling as he is being prepped for the surgery.
“The common side effect of this bullet if we do not operate will actually be an abscess forming within a span of four to six weeks. If we left the bullet and there is no pus, there will be a scar forming round the bullet. Any scar that is in the brain will elicit a problem and that will be epilepsy,” he stated.
He pointed out that the bullet was lodged in the right side of the boy’s brain, which he says gave some hope because most of the cognitive functions are controlled by the left side of the brain.
“I am however happy that this bullet is on the right side of the brain if it was on the left side I would be having some jitters because the right side of the brain is more silent. There is no operation which is without risks and that is why we have to access the risk,” he said. “We can actually choose not to remove the bullet but we have warned the parent that there will be a chance that he could have epilepsy in the future or he could have some vision impairment.”
He explained that Satrine’s father needs to give his consent before the surgery is done.
“If I explain the risk of surgery and they agree, we will go ahead and if the decide that they want him to stay with the bullet, we will not go ahead with it. But if we perform it, it will take about four to five hours,” he said.
Satrine will be operated on by a team of six surgeons including Doctor Peter Wanyoike, a renowned neurosurgeon who has taken up the case on a charity basis.
During the briefing, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia condemned the attack on the church describing it as an act of cowardice, while stating the government’s commitment to ensure that all affected are treated.
“We condemn this attack in every way possible. It is an act of cowardice and should not be tolerated in any way whatsoever. Our heart goes to all those who were affected and I can assure you that as government we are not sparing any costs to ensure that they are treated,” he stated.
“As you can see, this is part of the advantage of having devolution, that you have a county hospital referring such a case to a national hospital so the system is working,” he said.