Counties are groping in the dark owing to lack of policies on cancer prevention and treatment, even as they wait for the national government to share policies and guidelines aimed at easing the burden of the disease.
But even as they do this, some of the counties have already started putting up structures as they wait for the Ministry of Health to forward to them guidelines on how to handle the situation that has left several homes in abject poverty due to the cost of treating their loved ones.
This was evident at a meeting held by County Executive Committee members in charge of health in all the 47 counties on September 5, this year.
In a report forwarded to the Council of Governors, counties have not received the Cabinet decision/executive order of August 1, 2019 and this has made it difficult for them to understand the details contained in the document and its implication.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in August said the government will increase the number of chemotherapy and radiology centres in the country to make services more accessible.
Counties to benefit from the centres include Garissa, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nyeri, Meru and Machakos, with Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret becoming a centre of excellence for cancer treatment and training for upcoming professionals in oncology.
Statistics at the Ministry of Health show that 47,887 new cases of cancer are detected and 32,987 patients die annually.
While inaugurating the National Cancer Institute of Kenya board of trustees on July 31, Cabinet Secretary Cecily Kariuki said the 2011 cancer policy framework was reviewed in 2017 and is to operate until 2022.
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