The Ministry of Health has Friday launched the Kenya Cancer Policy 2019-2030 and the Breast Cancer Screening Pilot Report.
Recognizing the burden of cancer in the country, President Uhuru Kenyatta on 1st August 2019 directed the Ministry of Health to develop a cancer policy to address the growing burden of the disease to the country.
The Cancer Policy document provides a framework on how to comprehensively manage cancer in the country through the systematic implementation of evidence-based interventions in the area of care.
While launching the policy and breast cancer pilot report, CAS Dr Rashid Aman said the Ministry has put in place deliberate efforts to improve access to cancer services in line with the Universal Health Coverage agenda.
“Through the Managed Equipment Service (MES), the Ministry has availed x-ray, CT-SCAN equipment, ultrasound and mammography machines to the counties to boost cancer diagnosis.”
In collaboration with the counties, the Ministry has established 10 county chemotherapy centres which are all operational and fully functional.
Aman said that his Ministry has continued to support these centres with appropriate cancer drugs, especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to urge our cancer patients on active treatment as well as those on follow up to embrace and utilize these service,” Aman said.
The CAS also said that Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital was recently operationalised.
“Five additional radiotherapy centres are being set up in Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Nakuru County Referral Hospital, Mombasa County Referal Hospital, Garissa County and Kisii County,” Aman said.
Focusing on the maxim that prevention better than cure, the Ministry in addition launched the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.
The HPV vaccine is targeting 10-year-old girls.
“I, therefore, want to encourage parents to take their girls for vaccination at their nearest health facility.”
The Ministry has also developed and disseminated the National Cancer Screening Guidelines to all the 47 counties.
According to the “Breast Health Awareness Campaign” launched, it revealed that Breast Cancer is the leading type of cancer in Kenya with about 6,000 new cases every year.