Health CS Susan Nakhumicha

The government has intensified the war against cervical cancer by introducing HPV DNA testing for the first time in 27 county referral hospitals countrywide.

HPV DNA testing is the recommended gold-standard method for cervical cancer screening.

According to Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, the ministry is committed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 3 by reducing premature mortalities from cervical cancer and ensure the Kenya’s future generations is free from cervical cancer.

In collaboration with the Clinton health Access Initiative, the ministry has distributed over 800 thermoablation and 200 LEEP devices for treatment of cervical pre-cancerous lesions Level 2 to 6 health facilities countrywide & plans are underway to provide more for other counties.

“We are committed to ensure that every Kenyan is able to access the highest attainable standards of health in line with the Constitution of Kenya,” said the CS during the launch of the 5th Cervical Cancer Health Awareness Month in Embu County.

“In the fight against cervical cancer in Kenya, one of the issues we have observed is failure to take action. This is why we have intensified awareness campaigns this month, and we will continue to sustain efforts to encourage behavior change among all,” the CS said while in the company of Embu Governor Cecily Mbarire.

The CS disclosed that the Health ministry has built capacity of over 6,500 health care workers in all the 47 counties at different levels of care with the skills to screen and treat the pre-cancer stage of this disease.

The ministry has also developed various policies and guidelines to guide the implementation of various strategies to ensure that the country is not left behind in the elimination of cervical cancer.

“As we seek to transform NHIF to a social insurance vehicle, the ministry will review the services offered to include screening, diagnosis and treatment for cervical cancer,” she said.  

In Kenya, cancer is the second leading non-communicable disease after cardiovascular diseases, with 42,000 new cases and 27,000 deaths recorded every year according to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates.

The leading cancers are breast, cervical, prostate, esophageal and colorectal cancers, most of which can be prevented through screening and early diagnosis as set out in our national guidelines.

“We have effective treatments available both for the precancer lesions as well as for the cancer itself. Embu is one of the counties where we have established a regional cancer treatment center that we continue to support with the essential chemotherapy medicines,” Nakhumicha said.

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