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Kenyan to head continental cancer advocacy body

Health & ScienceBy Standard Reporter | Wed,Dec 29 2021 00:00:00 UTC | 2 min read


Dr Miriam Mutebi at the Aga Khan hospital. [Courtesy]

A Kenyan has been elected to head a continental cancer care and control advocacy organisation.

Dr Miriam Mutebi, a cancer clinician and researcher, is the president-elect of the African Organisation for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), a multi-disciplinary body that builds capacity for cancer advocacy, research and training.

Commenting on her election, the breast surgeon at Aga Khan University Hospital said she was honoured to be elected by fellow oncology healthcare workers from Africa to lead the cancer advocacy and research work.

“Through AORTIC and other initiatives, we now have a dedicated, enthusiastic continental workforce along the entire cancer continuum. I intend to help us leverage our collective strengths and connections to innovate and develop collaborative, region-appropriate, evidence-based, data-driven solutions that help us improve journeys for cancer patients and to address current gaps,” said Dr Mutebi.

She will serve a four-year term, two as president-elect and the rest as president.

In recognition of her work in cancer care and research, Dr Mutebi was earlier this year appointed to co-chair a government task force to design an effective cancer management structure in Kenya. 

She is also the president of the Kenya Society of Hematology and Oncology (KESHO), chair of the Commonwealth task force on the elimination of cervical cancer and sits on the board of directors of the Union for International Cancer Control, where she represents Africa.

She is a commissioner with three Lancet commissions on women and cancer, cancer in sub-Saharan Africa and breast cancer. She also heads the African cancer survivorship working group dedicated to developing continental research that reflects patient-reported outcomes and quality of life, and has developed and helped implement both local and regional cancer policy.

Dr Mutebi was the first female breast surgeon in Kenya. She has been involved in research geared towards improving the management and treatment of breast cancer patients.

In 2019 alongside Dr Radovan Boca, also from Aga Khan University Hospital, she pioneered the introduction of a procedure that involves harvesting body tissue from a breast cancer patient who has had mastectomy, and making a new breast thereby offering them hope. 

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