•Many people suffer from lack of early screening and treatment that could save many lives.
•Thika Level 5 Hospital plans a 21km marathon on August 11 to raise Sh15-20 million for the project.
A cancer centre with a diagnostic wing will be set up at Thika Level 5 Hospital by the end of the year, superintendent Dr Patrick Nyaga has said.
Many people in Thika are suffering from cancers, some don't know it and some go for screening when it's too late.
Nyaga said on Monday cancer cases are increasing in Thika, as they are in Kenya and worldwide. But many lives can be saved with early screening and treatment.
Lack of a local cancer centre is part of the problem, he said, adding that many patients are referred to Nairobi and then to India for treatment.
He spoke at a ceremony when Mt Kenya University handed over a Sh5 million ablution block to the hospital
To raise funds for the cancer centre, the hospital has organised a 21km marathon on August 11. The aim is to raise Sh 15-20 million for the project.
“This cannot continue. We are asking people to live a healthy lifestyle, exercise, eat right and help others by contributing the little they have to set up the Thika Cancer Care Centre,” Nyaga said.
The marathon will include a 5km family walk, a 10km fitness run and the 21km competition.
Large camps will be set up at Thika stadium and Thika Level 5 Hospital to screen people for cancer and raise awareness. The dates have not yet been set.
“The centre will be for anybody walking in off the street. People will get screened and referred to care centres. In the future we will have our own centre," Nyaga said.
Dr Josephat Njuguna, principal of Health Science at MKU said the university will partner with the hospital to raise awareness of cancer.
He said MKU will on set up a Sh5 million cold room at General Kago Funeral Home, which the university constructed for Sh300 million.
According to WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer, at least 47,887 Kenyans people get the disease annually, 32,987 die from it yearly.
Six years ago there were 41,000 reported cases and 28,000 deaths in Kenya.