Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki yesterday launched a cancer treatment centre at Longisa Referral Hospital.
The move follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s pledge, one month ago, to set up 10 oncology centres in the country.
Mrs Kariuki said Bomet was given priority because of the more than 200 cancer patients from the county, who have been travelling to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) to seek treatment.
Speaking after the launch of Longisa Oncology Centre, Kariuki said the Government was committed to ensuring the cancer scourge was contained.
She said the centre would offer chemotherapy to more cancer patients.
“At the centre, patients will be able to receive treatment and go back without unnecessary expenses,” said the CS.
She said besides cutting costs for patients, the centre would reduce congestion at MTRH and KNH.
Cancer medicine worth Sh2 million will be supplied to the facility.
The CS said besides the oncologist reviewing patients, he would also be tasked with mentoring doctors and nurses at the facility.
“The remaining assignment is for leaders to do sensitisation through community health workers on to be able to embrace the facility and ensure it is fully utilized,” said Kariuki.
The CS was accompanied by Bomet Governor Hillary Barchok, Senator Christopher Langat, Bomet East MP Beatrice Kones, Gladwel Tungo (Baringo Woman Representative) and two Members of the County Assembly.
Dr Barchok welcomed the facility, saying it had come at a time the county is going through a hard time due to increased cases of cancer.
“Every other time, we are fundraising for the treatment of a cancer patient or attending a funeral of a cancer victim and we hope this will reduce the cases we have been experiencing,” said Barchok.
The CS, however, decried the low usage of the mammogram installed at the hospital more than six months ago, noting that leaders should sensitise the public on the importance of the machine.
She asked the county to review the Sh1,000 screening fee at the facility.
The governor asked the Government to try and review its decision barring counties from purchasing medicines from other companies besides Kenya Medical Supplies Agency.
However, the CS said the move was taken to safeguard quality of supplies and to ensure they were affordable.