- The first cohort will travel to Christie Hospital and Manchester University to build capacity.
- Delegation led by Health CS Kagwe toured Nightingale Centre and Northwest Heart Centre, University of Manchester, Christie Hospital, Manchester University Foundation Trust and the Manchester Cancer Research Centre on Friday.
The first cohort of cancer specialists is expected to leave the country at the end of the month in a pact between the Kenya and UK government.
The pact aims to boost the fight against the rising burden of non-communicable diseases by improving access to effective cancer treatment.
The first cohort will travel to Christie Hospital and Manchester University to build capacity in the prevention and management of NCDs with special emphasis on cancer.
The Ministry of Health has been focusing on making screening, early diagnosis, and treatments such as radiotherapy and nuclear medicine more widely available.
The delegation led by Health CS Mutahi Kagwe toured Nightingale Centre and Northwest Heart Centre, the University of Manchester, Christie Hospital, Manchester University Foundation Trust and the Manchester Cancer Research Centre on Friday.
The two countries are implementing two key agreements in the health sector signed in July last year.
“The latest development will improve the standard of healthcare in Kenya through research, workforce training and education of healthcare professionals,” Kagwe said.
“One of the changes we need to make is that when we get into research, we need to have shared benefits once completed. I'm convinced we have opportunities in which we can all share in eventual benefits of our research findings,” Kagwe added.
The programme will initially focus on improving cancer outcomes through early detection, rapid diagnosis and the delivery of high quality care.
Kagwe said the two countries should also look at the possibility of collaborating at cure level so as to expand the range of cooperation.
He called for equity in research and technology transfer, saying past experiences seem to have placed Kenya at a disadvantage.
The University of Manchester and Christie Foundation will support capacity building and have already put together targeted proposals for funding.
“We have to think together about the workforce of the future. Everyone knows what we have does not work. How do we combine budgets for entire end-to-end approach?” Prof Lord Graham said.
He is the vice president and dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester.
Dr Mary Wilson, a consultant breast radiologist, emphasized the need to train teams ranging from radiologists, nurses, clinical officers to radiographers instead of one cadre only if Kenya is to improve her cancer treatment outcomes.
She said development of hubs within the country that can allow for development of a workforce that can be a resource for use in Kenya moving forward will go a long way in realising the objective.
Cancer is the third leading cause of death in the country after infectious and cardiovascular diseases, accounting for approximately 10 per cent of all disease mortalities.
An estimated 48,000 new cases and 27,000 cancer deaths occur each year.
Regrettably, the majority of cancer patients are diagnosed at late stages when treatment outcomes are poor.
Many thousands of people die from cancers that would often be treatable if they lived in a country with enough trained personnel and equipment.
Edited by Henry Makori