President Kibaki has asked researchers to undertake more work on cancer in the country, noting that 22,000 out of the 28,000 Kenyans diagnosed with the disease died annually.
He emphasized the need to come up with proper data and information archiving to help in understanding the disease trends that are threatening Kenyans.
Said the President: âThis is urgent and should be matched by education on preventive measures needed to keep cancer at bay. This is more so because 80 per cent of cancers are diagnosed too late to ensure successful treatment.â
The Head of State was speaking today when he officially opened the ultra-modern Oncology and Cancer Treatment Centre at the Nairobi Hospital.
President Kibaki also underscored the need to intensify educational programs that teach Kenyans on the role of diet in health management, noting that incidences of cancer in Kenya are increasing at an alarming
He said the Government and Kenyan citizens should roll out programs to safeguard the environment to ensure that pollution, which is now a known
contributor to health challenges, is well managed.
The President, at the same time, urged Kenyans to regularly undergo screening so as to detect cancer early.
âMoreover, self-examination, especially for symptoms of breast cancer should be widely encouraged,â President Kibaki said.
President Kibaki said his Government is actively working towards increasing access of cancer screening and treatment at affordable costs.
He pointed out that the Government will establish cancer centres outside Nairobi so as to enhance reach of services for the larger population in
the rural areas.
âWe are setting up facilities in our counties to cater for more Kenyans in dire need of these health services,â President Kibaki said.
He indicated that the Government is looking forward to partnering with stakeholders in the health sector to train more health specialists to cater for emerging medical issues such as oncology.
Noting that the National Cancer Control Strategy has been launched, President Kibaki said he will sign into law the Cancer Prevention and Control Bill to provide a comprehensive framework for the treatment and control of cancer.
He disclosed that the screening and diagnosis of cancers has been
strengthened through public education and installation of diagnostic
machines in various hospitals in the country.
In this connection, President Kibaki said the Nairobi Hospitalâs Oncology and Cancer Treatment Centre will go a long way in ensuring early detection and treatment of cancer for better health outcomes.
The President also reaffirmed that the Government is committed to the introduction of the human papi-loma virus vaccine to address the high
incidences of cervical cancers.
âIt is my hope that these efforts will strengthen our health systems and institute effective control measures, as well as improve access to
essential medicines, screening services and rehabilitation to provide long-term medical care to Kenyans,â President Kibaki said.
President Kibaki expressed hope that the ongoing efforts will help slow down the incidences of cancer in the country which now ranks third as a
cause of death after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.
He observed that breast cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer are
among the most common cancers in Kenya.
The President commended the board and management of the Nairobi Hospital
for providing the necessary leadership that ensured that the ultra-modern
Oncology and Cancer Treatment Centre project was successful.
Said the President: âThis facility will provide the much-needed cancer treatment to many Kenyans and people beyond our borders.â
Speaking during the occasion, Medical Services Minister Prof.Anyangâ Nyongâo said his ministry is working on ensuring that Kenyans have access
to affordable and quality healthcare services as envisaged in the Constitution and Vision 2030.
Prof Â Nyongâo, therefore, appealed to the health fraternity, particularly private healthcare service providers, to review the cost of their services
to make them accessible to Kenyans.
The Medical Services Minister said his ministry has embarked on key reforms to manage cancer and other non-communicable diseases in the
He added that his ministry is also focusing on the training of specialists to enhance early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Other speakers included Nairobi Hospital Board of Management Chairman Dr. Chris Obura and the Chief Executive Officer Dr. Cleopa Mailu.
In attendance were Defence Minister and acting Minister for Internal Security Yusuf Hajji, Co-operative Development Minister Joseph Nyaga and
the acting Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia among other senior Government officials.