- Higher Education and Research PS Simon Nabukwesi said the centre was among 20 supported pioneer infrastructure projects nationally.
The PS singled out Maseno University's vice chancellor Julius Nyabundi, management and all the scholars for having embraced high-end research.
Kisumu county has launched Sh70 million Western Kenya Cancer Care and Research Center, at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital.
The government through the National Research Fund had since July 2017, supported its creation in favour of specialised cancer patient care and cutting-edge research in Western Kenya, including the Lake Region Economic Block counties.
This was part of its strategic response to promote training institutions to build their research capacity.
Higher Education and Research PS Simon Nabukwesi said the centre was among 20 supported pioneer infrastructure projects nationally.
Nabukwesi said the centre will conduct cutting-edge, demand-driven research in human cancers, provide specialised diagnostic support and create its niche as a national training facility in cancer and related conditions.
The PS singled out Maseno University's vice chancellor Julius Nyabundi, management and all the scholars for having embraced high-end research as the way forward towards hoisting the nation to the highest pride of place.
"We appreciate the establishment of this cancer centre. Its services should be made possible to all Kenyans, " he said.
"I hope that commissioning this centre will serve as a springboard for further discussions towards the formation of wider networks in the fight against cancer, strengthen existing partnerships and identify new opportunities towards sustainability in diagnosis and treatment."
National Research Fund chairman board of trustees Ratemo Michieka applauded the effort and teamwork demonstrated by Maseno University and JOOTH staff in ensuring the facility is well equipped.
He said they are determined to ensure they achieve globally recognised research and technology through expanded partnerships and by ensuring intact policies are put in place when it comes to fundable research projects.
"This centre will support the goals of fostering conducive infrastructures for innovation, enriching staff and student experience, supporting research excellence, developing outstanding human resources, sustaining campus growth,” he said
“Other goals include ensuring financial stability and engaging community participation while providing the students, researchers and scientists with cutting-edge competencies for research and innovation.”
He said the demand for quality services from government agencies by citizens continues to escalate considering changing technology and increased access to information and knowledge by citizens.
Michieka said there is a need for Maseno University to explore both bilateral and multilateral funding schemes on research infrastructure to supplement the highly competitive government funding.
"I request the National Treasury to increase funding for NRF to enable the fund to continue improving research infrastructures to facilitate our scientists carry out cutting edge research,” he said.
The centre's principal investigator Benson Nyambega said their achievement include obtaining funding for research for cancer data systems development from BIO Ventures for Global Health within the framework of the African Consortium for Cancer Clinical Trials and also African Early Stage Investigator support from National Cancer Institute.
He said the projects' journey to sustainability will require up-scaling of the following proposed strategies which include marketing and communication.
Others are enhanced revenue streams including charging fees for clinical oncology services, especially in diagnostics (laboratory and imaging), research and capacity building where resident WKCCRC researchers compete for solicited and unsolicited research grant opportunities, fundraising events and setting up endowments amongst others.
"Maseno University is grateful for the support received from NRF and other partners towards the actualisation of the objectives of this Center and looks forward to continued support," he said.