The eight new chemotherapy centres are in line with the health ministry’s race to create what could be a regional hub for cancer treatment.
Cabinet secretary Sicily Kariuki, confirmed that the five-year project will begin this financial year. The National Cancer Control seeks to have basic cancer treatment capability in the 47 counties by 2022.
The target as government is to have capability in this country. A well as and that we not only become the provider for ourselves, but a regional hub.
The development will ease pressure on Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital. The only two public facilities with equipment for treating cancer. Most cancer patients face difficulties accessing treatment in Kenya due to limited facilities which number about 12, including private ones.
The ministry anticipates that if the strategies and interventions goes according to plan then the dream will be a reality in the next five years. This will also attract tourists who are coming to Kenya for medical tourism.
However, this is not the first time that the Kenyan government is promising to set up the cancer centres. In 2015, the ministry said such facilities would be set up in Nairobi, Mombasa, Nyeri, Eldoret, and Kisumu.
Cancer is the third top killer disease in Kenya after pneumonia and malaria. Hence, registered deaths standing at 16,953 last year, 1,191 more than in 2016.
Under the National Cancer Control Strategy, the ministry aims to empower county and sub-county hospitals to provide surgery, chemotherapy and palliative care, including outpatient and inpatient hospice care. This will support the proposed establishment of four comprehensive regional cancer treatment centres in Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri and Kisii for Sh8 billion in the five-year period.