Leaders and residents of Western region are upbeat about the Sh2.5 billion cancer centre to be set up in Kakamega County.
Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Patrick Khaemba (Trans Nzoia), Wilbur Ottichilo (Vihiga) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) are optimistic about the mega project initiated by Western Community Health Association (Wecoha).
Ottichilo, Oparanya, Khaemba and Bungoma Deputy Governor Charles Ngome on Tuesday met Wecoha officials and Swedish partner Goran Hellers to discuss finer details of the project.
Conspicuously missing was Busia Governor Sospeter Ojamoong who was not represented and did not send any apology.
Locals who spoke to The Standard said the planned project, one of its kind in Western Kenya, would help boost medical health tourism in the region.
"A part from improving the health of locals and making cancer screening and treatment affordable, we expect a lot more benefits from the project," said Hollister Shisia, a resident.
Oparanya noted that county governments from the region were expected to raise Sh30 million to start off the project.
"We have already acquired a piece of land for construction of the centre. We will also have satellite centres in the other counties," said Oparanya.
He said the investor would construct and equip the centre which would benefit patients not only from the region but across the country.
Local MPs have also welcomed the project, saying it will go a long way in managing cancer and related complications.
Prof Charles Chunge, chairman of the project committee, said once the centre was complete, it would reduce cancer referrals to other medical facilities.
"Western region lacks cancer specialists and the project will address the challenges associated with cancer. We are grateful the governors have pledged support for the project," said Prof Chunge.
Winfred Nanjala Amwayi, 45, who has been battling cancer for over 12 years, said she was happy with the development.
She was among several other patients from Western, who turned up during the launch of a cancer screening and treatment centre at Kakamega County General and Referral Hospital last week.
David Lukalia, 50, who has been battling cancer for a long time, said he was relieved that the facility was coming near them.