Technology has central role in fight on cancer
SEE ALSO :County to recruit 16 special doctorsThe increasing cancer burden in Kenya has prompted the government to outline significant intended investments in cancer care and treatment in the country. According to the National Cancer Control Strategy 2017- 2022, basic cancer treatment facilities will be available in 47 counties. This includes the proposed establishment of four comprehensive regional cancer treatment centres in Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri and Kisii for Sh8 billion in a five-year period. With an understanding of the challenges in the country’s oncology treatment system, a collaborative approach involving a diverse range of stakeholders in the public, private, non-profit and academia sectors is required and is the most effective approach to solving the challenges at hand. Adoption of relevant technologies in cancer care has also seen many countries make great strides in fighting the disease. Recently, Aga Khan University Hospital unveiled the first advanced early detection PET CT and Cyclotron in Sub-Saharan Africa. The technology provided by General Electric Healthcare gives an accurate indication of the progress of the disease at its earliest stages. This means Kenyans will no longer need to travel abroad for accurate cancer diagnosis, a shift that should significantly lessen the burden of healthcare costs.
SEE ALSO :County threatens to sack doctorsFurther to the introduction of enhanced equipment for cancer diagnosis, there is need to invest in training and upskilling of medical practitioners such as radiographers as well as nursing staff. Beyond training on cancer management equipment, the importance of psychiatric care for patients cannot be overstated. Disruptive models The need for new and disruptive models to address the growing oncology burden in Kenya calls for an integrated primary healthcare approach that includes the development of human resources for health and incorporating tailored task shifting to close clinical capacity gaps. In conjunction with Aga Khan University Hospital, GE Healthcare hosted a PET CT and Cyclotron symposium to drive dialogue on latest innovations and interventions in early cancer diagnosis and detection. Other symposia will be held to continually bridge the knowledge gap in the field.
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