CURBING KILLER DISEASE

Machakos cancer centre a model all counties should copy

County residents will access free screening and treatment, making the centre the first of its kind

In Summary

• In Kenya, cancer is the third cause of morbidity with an estimated 29,000 new cases every year and 22,000 deaths annually. 

• Facility will help families avoid distant referrals such as India and the overstretched Kenyatta National Hospital. 

Machakos Level 5 Hospital administration offices
STEP FORWARD: Machakos Level 5 Hospital administration offices
Image: FILE

There is a blemish growing on Kenya that has been the source of pain for millions of people. Cancer.

In the last few months, the country has lost persons of influence to this disease including Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso, Kibra MP Ken Okoth and Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore prompting the urgency to talk about this scourge.

Last week on Thursday, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua opened a Sh40 million state-of-the-art cancer care and research centre at Machakos Level 5 Hospital. The cancer plague remains a major problem in both first world and developing countries like Kenya. It is killing both young and old and is a disease for both the rich and poor, contrary to popular belief that it was a ‘rich person’s disease’.

 

In fact, research shows that the majority of cancer patients come from poor backgrounds- people who cannot afford the necessary quality treatment and care. In Kenya, cancer is the third cause of morbidity with an estimated 29,000 new cases every year and 22,000 deaths annually.

The opening of a cancer care and research centre in Machakos comes at the right time as it will help families avoid referrals to India and the overstretched Kenyatta National Hospital. This will also avoid late treatment. Machakos residents will access free screening and treatment, making the centre the first of its kind in the country.

Next year, the county plans to include the purchase of a Sh300 million radiotherapy machine in their budget in a strategy to have several diagnostic and treatment centres spread all over the county within the next three years. Mutua must be commended for this initiative that will significantly reduce risk factors, detect cases early and offer good care to those with the disease.

Nairobi