RIIO Health Hub to start performing first keyhole surgery in Rwanda

RIIO Health Hub, already well known for Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital in providing exceptional Eye care services to people of Rwanda, is adding another feather to its cap. It is broadening its services by introducing the country’s first facility that mainly focusses to provide keyhole surgery procedures.

Keyhole surgery consists of operations performed by making only a small incision (usually 0.5–1.5 cm) to do surgery deeper down in the body, eliminating the need to cut open a patient with a surgical blade.

1494421297Keyhole surgery is much less invasive than a conventional operation (2)
Keyhole surgery is much less invasive than a conventional operation.

Called “WIWO”, Multispecialty Day-care Hospital, patients at the facility will get to the hospital, and be diagnosed, treated and discharged in a matter of hours thanks to the highly skilled medical professionals and hi-tech equipment planned at the hospital.

Dr. John Nkurikiye, the Managing Director of RIIO Health Hub explained to Hope Magazine that the aim is to have all medical services at the facility, removing the need for Rwandans to travel abroad for treatment and also attracting people from across the region for treatment to Kigali.

“We are now a health hub bringing together different medical departments to provide a comprehensive service,” he said.

The Director of the WIWO facility will be Dr. Karthik Gopal, a highly experienced medical doctor with specialty experience in cardiology and radiology, who has practiced in London for the past two decades. He explained the concept of the Multispecialty Day-care Hospital to Hope Magazine.


Hope Magazine: Please explain the hospital’s approach.

1494421779Dr Karthik Gopal, the medical director of Agarwals WIWO Multispecialty Day-care Hospital (1b)
Dr Karthik Gopal, the medical director of the WIWO Multispecialty Day-care Hospital.

Dr. Karthik: The idea of WIWO is that you walk in when you are sick, and then walk out healthy after being treated. Our approach to Healthcare is 2-fold:

1)      Screening: Recognizing an ailment before it manifests itself

2)      Treating: Once identified, evidence based treatment.

“Healthy ageing” is our concept and this starts right from their youth. Just like you change your car engine’s oil regularly or update your computer’s anti-virus, you should go for medical check-ups regularly.

Providing regular check-ups allows us to advise them on how to take care of their bodies and be in control.

Evidence-based treatment, post diagnosis of a medical condition. WIWO has a one-umbrella service where you can see:

1. Specialists Consultants from Rwanda, India and UK

2. Diagnosis with our latest Hi end laboratory / CT /MRI diagnostic facilities

3. Appropriate treatment – Medical or Surgical

4 .Key Hole Day care surgeries- Laparoscopy and Arthroscopy


Hope Magazine: What risks are associated with conventional surgery and how is keyhole surgery different?

Dr. Karthik: Usually, in a controlled anaesthetic environment, the longer a surgery last, the more problematic it is to wake up a patient afterwards. But for laparoscopic surgery, it takes only a third of the time of conventional surgery.

The second advantage with keyhole surgeries is that it minimizes the risk of infections. The recovery is also much faster which is why we refer to our facility as a day-care Hospital.

We have more than 20 beds here but if possible we prefer that a patient who arrives in the morning is discharged in the evening.


1494422273RIIO Health Hub is already well known for Dr Agarwal Eye Hospital located in Remera
RIIO Health Hub is already well known for Dr Agarwal's Eye Hospital located in Remera.

Hope Magazine: What kind of surgery can be done through this procedure?

Dr. Karthik: More than 70% of surgeries that are performed routinely in hospitals, can be done using laparoscopy thanks to advanced technology.

For example, if you have gall bladder stones that need to be removed, it can be done with keyhole surgery by making a small incision, inserting a tube with a camera in the belly area then ballooning it up so everything becomes visible; this enables us to remove the stones easily.


Hope Magazine: What are some of the ailments you will focus on?

Dr. Karthik: They are the following:

Gastroenetrology: Endoscopic therapeutic procedures and Laparoscopic surgeries

Orthopaedics: Arthroscopic joint procedures

ENT: High field microscopic surgeries

Gynaecology: Laparoscopic surgeries

The hospital will also have dentistry, diabetology, dermatology, infertility and other speciality services.


Hope Magazine: Do you think the hospital will lead to an influx of medical tourists to Rwanda?

Dr. Karthik: Yes! Right now we will cater for everyone from East Africa, where people have often had to go to India/Europe for treatment. We plan to have all the necessary equipment and specialists so there is no need for people to spend a lot of money to travel far abroad which they can access in Rwanda.


Read this article and more in issue n° 74 of Hope Magazine.

  • By Hope Magazine
  • Posted 10th May 2017


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