Gov’t incubating Cancer Management Centres

Gov't incubating Cancer Management Centres

The Ministry of Health is incubating a cancer management center project.

Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr Cleopa Mailu, who was speaking Tuesday, September 27 at the Primary Health Care event at the UN Headquarters during the UN Assembly, said that plans are underway to establish four cancer centers strategically located across the country using the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mechanisms.

According to Kenya Network of Cancer Organizations, cancer is the 3rd highest cause of morbidity in Kenya, 7% of deaths per year, after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Kenya records 39,000 new cases of cancer each year with more than 27,000 deaths per year, 60% of Kenyans affected by cancer are younger than 70 years old.

The leading cancer in women is breast, 34 per 100,000, cervical 25 per 100,000 and in men is prostate 17 per 100,000, esophageal 9 per 100,000. 70-80% of cancer cases are diagnosed in late stages due to lack of awareness, inadequate diagnostic facilities, lack of treatment facilities, high cost of treatment and high poverty Index. The number of radiation centers in the country are four all in Nairobi – KNH, MP Shah, Nairobi Hospital, Aga Khan.

The CS said there are valuable opportunities in partnering with the private sector to bridge the gap in health system strengthening adding that Kenya Public Private Partnership (PPP) targeting Primary Health Care has taken off with the implementing of the seven year USD 380million Managed Equipment Services.

“We are exploring other health system domains like service delivery, digitization, hospital management and community health service delivery systems as potential areas to partner with the private sector in order the foster and improve Primary Health Care,” said CS Mailu.

Dr Mailu, however, acknowledged that despite significant investments in the public health sector, health systems challenges such as inadequate human resources, health care financing, essential medicines and medical supplies, double burden of communicable and non-communicable conditions, inadequate and poorly equipped health facilities still persist.

“In Kenya the nurse and doctor ratio to 100,000 population is 165 and 21 respectively. This ratio is still low considering the dynamic unidirectional nature of health workers’ migration,” said the CS.

To address the challenges, Dr. Mailu revealed that the government has outsourced distribution of commodities to health facilities which is now coordinated through the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).

“We are now supporting students undertaking courses in private training institutions as an effort to bridge the human resource gap. In particular, the Ministry together with the private sector has established a revolving fund “FUNZO” through the support of USAID to support students joining middle level healthcare training institutions,” he added.

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