ONCOLOGY UNIT

Cancer care comes closer to Bomet residents as unit is set up

To offer screening and treatment services including chemotherapy and drugs at reduced costs.

In Summary

• The centre,  constructed by the county in partnership with the national government is the 10th chemotherapy centre in the country.

• Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki officially opened the cancer centre on Monday. 

A patient undergoes radiotherapy at Kenyatta National Hospital. New Bomet unit to complement services offered at KNH.
A patient undergoes radiotherapy at Kenyatta National Hospital. New Bomet unit to complement services offered at KNH.
Image: FILE

A cancer care centre has been set up at Longisa Hospital in Bomet to serve patients from the county and neighbours Narok, Nyamira and Kisii.   

The oncology unit, the first in the region, will offer screening and treatment services including chemotherapy and drugs at reduced costs. 

The centre,  constructed by the county in partnership with the national government is the 10th chemotherapy centre in the country.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki officially opened the cancer centre on Monday. 

The unit, Kariuki said, will help reduce the transport costs for those suffering from cancer and ease congestion at Kenyatta National Hospital, the only other public hospital offering radiotherapy in the country.

She said a radiotherapy unit will be installed at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital by December to reduce the workload at KNH. 

Cancer treatment is either through surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. 

Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok hailed the national government for its commitment and support in having the facility set up in the region. 

Barchok said the facility will greatly reduce the hassles cancer patients from the county and its neighbours have endured in search for medication.

Patients from the region have been travelling to Nairobi or Eldoret in search of treatment.

Barchok pointed out that 19 new cancer cases were reported at the county on Friday alone. 

The national government funded the renovation of the existing structures at the facility, a chemotherapy preparation hood and five chemotherapy seats. 

The national government also supplied chemotherapy drugs worth Sh2 million. 

Other services to be offered at the facility are chemotherapeutic and palliative care. 

County health executive Joseph Sitonik said cancer drugs will now be sold at the facility at subsidised costs with the lowest dose going for Sh1,000 instead of Sh3,000.

Staff set to run the unit have already been trained, with consultants and oncologists from the MTRH set to visit the facility each month to attend to cancer patients as well as provide pathologic laboratory support services.

An oncologist from MTRH will be visiting the Longisa unit weekly to assess the cancer patients being received and also refer those for radiotherapy to KNH. 

Barchok said the oncology unit is a milestone in the county and the entire South Rift especially at a time when cancer cases have continued to rise.

Bomet's second governor Joyce Laboso succumbed to ovarian cancer in July.

(edited by O. Owino)