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Nyong'o: Cancer unit plan reviewed

Health & Science
 Jaramogi Odinga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kisumu. [Titus Munala, Standard]

The county government will not build a new cancer treatment and care hub as earlier planned, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o clarified yesterday.

Instead, the county will expand the oncology unit at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) into the regional facility it envisioned in a Sh1 billion plan mooted in May, this year.

Initial plan to build a comprehensive centre serving 13 counties in the region suffered a setback after the Kisumu Kenya Medical Training College differed with the county government over ownership of the proposed site measuring about three acres.

“A cancer centre is not a very large facility. We are working with various partners to expand and equip the existing unit,” Prof Nyong’o told The Standard on phone.

He said the county government had already received backing from several US-based firms.

Last Friday, US-based research company Henry Jackson Foundation Medical Research International (HJFMRI) pledged financial support towards the Sh1 billion facility. 

HJFMRI Regional Director Berhane Assefa said they will work with the county government on the project expected to save thousands of cancer patients.  

In the first phase of the project, a Sh350 million radiotherapy centre was expected to be completed in two years.

The county set aside Sh60 million for the project while Maseno University, which trains its medical school students at the facility, received Sh70 million towards the Western Kenya cancer project.

“The commencement of construction of this radiotherapy centre sets us on a journey to establish a premier cancer centre that will be the focal point for comprehensive oncology management within the western circuit and other Lake Region Economic Bloc counties,” Nyong’o said when he broke ground for the project at JOOTRH.

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