By Nula Kabale
Treasury has allocated Sh1.3 billion for the construction and upgrading of cancer facilities in the country in an effort to cutting travel costs to referral facilities and ease congestion at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).
The cancer centres will be established in four counties as well as the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH).
The biggest beneficiary of the allocation from Treasury is the Kisii level five hospital which will receive Sh430 million for the construction of a cancer centre at the facility.
Regional cancer centres in Kisii, Nyeri, Mombasa and Nakuru will be allocated Sh400 million while Sh450 million will be allocated towards cancer management at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
A document tabled in parliament indicates that in the financial year starting July, Sh350 million has been allocated to cancer and chronic disease management centre at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret.
“This is for establishment of four regional cancer centres in Kisii, Nyeri, Mombasa and Nakuru,” budget documents reveal. “Chemotherapy equipment has already been supplied to three centres.”
Kenyatta Hospital and the Moi Teaching Referral are the only public hospitals handling treatment of cancer which can be done through surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy or a combination of the options.
Through strengthening of the cancer centres in the two national referral facilities, the government aims to reduce the cancer burden in the country.
Late diagnosis of new cancers and failure to promptly spot recurrences in those surviving the disease contribute to premature deaths in Kenya.
The Health ministry estimates that 70 to 80 percent of the cancers are diagnosed in late stages when the disease has burrowed through major body organs, making it incurable.
In its Globocan 2018 report, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said that 47,887 Kenyans get cancer every year and 32,987 die from the disease.
Treatment of cancer is either through surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy or a combination of the options.
KNH and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret are the public hospitals handling the procedures