• Project is fully sponsored by county government, patients from Sekeb region will receive special rates and all citizens will pay a subsidised price.
• Governor says he will include the purchase of Sh300 million radiotherapy machine in next year’s budget.
The Machakos county government on Thursday launched a Sh40 million cancer care and research centre.
Governor Alfred Mutua said the centre will provide free cancer diagnosis and treatment.
“It is the first of its kind by a county,” Mutua said.
Mutua said as much as cancer does not discriminate on age, career or gender, it has favoured the rich in Kenya.
“Those registered in the Universal Health Care programme will receive quality screening, diagnosis, counseling and chemotherapy treatment and management for free. Others from the Sekeb region will receive special rates and all citizens from the entire country will pay a subsidised price," he said.
The governor commended his wife Lillian, whom he said has been to every corner of the county in the last six years running cancer screening sessions.
“However, after all these sessions, she would come home slightly sad because the sessions just identified people with cancer but could not go further."
Mutua termed it heartbreaking for people to die because they lack affordable healthcare.
The centre has been set up with equipment purchased by his government, he said, adding that Lilian also sourced some equipment from her friends and well wishers including Kenya Cancer Association head Anne Ng’ang’a.
The centre, according to the county chief, can undertake the highest quality of diagnosis and provide chemotherapy and advanced surgery.
He said they will include the purchase of a Sh300 million radiotherapy machine in next year’s budget.
“Our strategy is to have several diagnostic and treatment centres spread all over the county within the next three years.
“We plan to partner with hospitals and institutions of higher learning and research to have experts from all over the world," Mutua said.
Adding, "We will also utilise telemedicine for consultations between our doctors and experts all over the world. For our research component, we welcome partnerships for drug trials and new ways of management of cancer.”
Mutua invited cancer organisations, development partners and experts to support them acquire more equipment and improvement skills.
He said healthcare has been one of his top priorities, more than a third (32.5 per cent) of the county's current budget is allocated to healthcare.
“Our 80 ambulances, found in every administrative location, have saved lives. So far 572,697 patients have been ferried by our ambulances, including 256,762 mothers in labour. The ambulances have also become delivery rooms because as of this morning, 52,012 babies have born in the ambulances on the way to the hospital,” he added.
Edited by R.Wamochie