NAIROBI, Feb 5 The Kenyan government will establish four new cancer treatment and care centers at a cost of six billion shillings (about 58.9 million US dollars) to ease the burden of cancer management in the country which is said to be economically draining to the majority.
Acting National Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko said Thursday that the regional centres to be established in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Nyeri would bring cancer diagnosis, treatment and management closer to the people.
Speaking in Nyeri, about 150 kilometres north of here, during this year’s World Cancer Day celebrations, Dr. Kioko said the cost of putting up the centres was expected to be raised through public-private partnerships (PPPs).
“Decentralization of cancer treatment is expected to ease the agony that cancer patients have been undergoing of travelling all the way to Nairobi to access the services,” said Dr. Kioko.
He added that the new centres would also help in increasing the level of cancer awareness besides giving people an opportunity have close access to pre-cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and management.
The latest development comes amidst fears that the number of cancer cases in the country may double over the next decade. A review of health data shows that the rate of deaths resulting from cancer in Kenya is fast outpacing population growth and may double in the next decade.
As Kenya joined the rest of the world in marking the World Day of Cancer, the grim statistics released by the Ministry of Health indicate that the country loses 25,000 people to the disease each year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes the rising number of cancer cases to aging populations as well as increasing adoption of unhealthy diets and harmful use of alcohol.
The theme of this year’s Day of Cancer is: “We Can, I can” and seeks to explore how individuals can play a role in reducing the burden of cancer.