Government launches Kenya Cancer Policy Nairobi , Friday July 03 2020

The Ministry of Health today launched a cancer Policy to address the growing burden of the disease in the country.

Speaking during the unveiling of the Kenya Cancer Policy 2019-2030, the Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), Dr. Rashid Aman disclosed that the document provides a framework on how to comprehensively manage the cancer burden in the country, through systematic implementation of evidence-based interventions in the area of care.

Alongside this policy document, the government also launched the Breast Cancer Screening Pilot Report.

He noted that the Ministry has put in place deliberate efforts to improve access to cancer services in line with the Universal Health Coverage agenda.

He pointed out that through Managed Equipment Service (MES), the Ministry has availed x-ray, CT-SCAN equipment, ultrasound and mammography machines, to the counties to boost cancer diagnosis.

“Ten county chemotherapy centers, have been established in collaboration with the counties, and are all operational and fully functional,” he said.

He confirmed that the Ministry is supporting the centers with appropriate cancer drugs, especially during this period of COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure continued service delivery.

“This means that basic cancer care can now be accessed at a nearby county health facility and I am urging our cancer patients, on active treatment as well as those on follow up, to embrace and utilize these services,” he said.

With these cancer treatment and management centres, the number of Kenyans seeking cancer treatment abroad will be reduced, the CAS noted.

Besides the 10 centres the Ministry has also operationalized the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital and is in the process of establishing five additional radiotherapy centers at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Nakuru County Referral Hospital, Mombasa County Referral Hospital, Garissa County and Kisii County.

The CAS also encouraged parents, to take their 10-year-old girls for the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to prevent cervical cancer.

He disclosed that the cervical cancer screening services remain available in health facilities, and appealed to all eligible women to visit their nearest health facilities for screening at least once a year.

The Ministry has also developed and disseminated the National Cancer Screening Guidelines to all the 47 counties.

Breast cancer, it is the leading type of cancer in Kenya, with about 6,000 new cases every year.  It is for this reason that the Ministry conducted a Breast Cancer Screening Pilot dubbed, the “Breast Health Awareness Campaign” contained in the launched report. This pilot project will guide the scaling up of breast cancer screening services in Kenya.