By KBC Reporters
The government will establish four new cancer treatment and care centers at a cost of 6 billion shillings.
The move is geared towards easing the burden of cancer management in the country which is said to be economically draining to the majority.
Acting National Director of Medical Services Dr. Jackson Kioko says the regional centers to be established in Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and Nyeri will bring cancer diagnosis, treatment and management closer to the people.
Speaking in Nyeri during this year’s World Cancer Day, Dr. Kioko said the cost of putting up the centers is estimated to be around Sh. 6 billion, and is expected to be raised through public-private partnership.
“Decentralization of cancer treatment is expected to ease the agony that cancer patients have been undergoing of travelling all the way to Nairobi to access the services,” said Dr. Kioko.
He added that the centers will also aid in increasing the level of cancer awareness besides giving people an opportunity have close access to pre-cancer screening, diagnosis, treatment and management.
The latest development comes amid fears that cancer cases may double over the next decade.
A review of health data shows that the rate of deaths resulting from cancer in Kenya are fast outpacing population growth and may double in the next decade.
As Kenya joined the rest of the world in marking the World Day of Cancer grim statistics released by the Ministry of Health indicate that the country loses 25,000 people to the disease each year.
The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes the rising cancer cases to ageing populations as well as increasing adoption of unhealthy diets and harmful use of alcohol.
The theme of this year’s Day of Cancer is: “We Can, I can” and seeks to explore how individuals can play a role in reducing the burden of cancer.
According to WHO, Cancer figures are among the leading causes of illness and death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer related deaths in 2012 alone.
More than 30% of cancer deaths can be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, including tobacco use, being overweight or obese, unhealthy diets and a lack of physical activity.
In the meantime, men in Kajiado County are reported to have given the free testing for cancer a wide berth.
The event marked at the Kitengela Health Centre was mainly characterized by a low turnout of mostly women while the few men in their midst were the physicians.
Free screening for breast and cervical cancer was conducted on women while children had their lymph glands checked for cancer.
Cancer survivors held a procession in Kitengela town creating awareness calling on people to turn out for free screening.