NAIROBI: The Government has signed a US$200 million (about Sh2 billion) loan agreement with a Kuwait based bank to help in the establishment of a cancer and dialysis treatment centre in Kisii County.
The project, funded by the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and Saudi Fund, will enable Kisii Teaching and Referral Hospital (KTRH) to establish the country's third public facility of that nature.
The bank had undertaken to fund the project after the government of Kisii wrote a proposal on the need for such an ultra-modern facility in the area.
Currently, only Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Eldoret's Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) have such facilities. The project construction is expected to commence in two months time following Wednesday's signing. It is expected to be complete in two years.
Once launched, the centre is expected to serve an estimated 6 million people from Kisii and its neighbouring counties such as Kisumu, Migori, Homa Bay, Nyamira, Bomet, Kericho and Narok.
- 1 The toughest 9 months: I was pregnant with cancer
- 2 Redouble efforts to beat cervical cancer
- 3 Cancer that plagues 1 in 7 African men
- 4 What having more than 10 sexual partners means
Speaking during the signing ceremony, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the establishment of the cancer centre in Kisii will boost early detection and ease access to treatment.
"The facility will ensure cancer patients detect the disease in its early stages and reduce the cost incurred by patients who have to travel to Kenyatta National Hospital and even abroad for the service," Mr Rotich said.
The CS said the partnership was among the efforts the government was making to handle the rising number of cancer patients in the country.
"According to research, we are losing about 40,000 people to cancer every year. This facility will go a long way in addressing this," Rotich said.
The CS said the Government was also in the process of distributing cancer dialysis equipment to every county.
Kisii Governor James Ongwae said the project will bring specialised services closer to the people in the county and the South Nyanza region.
Mr Ongwae said his government had noticed that cases of the disease had increased due to change in lifestyle.
"We noticed that our people were suffering going for treatment outside the county. We wrote letters and approached the bank for funding through the support of the national government," Ongwae said.
He said the project will be operated in partnership with Kisii University, which will provide the training and expertise.
"We partnered with the university to ensure the medical professionals there help us run the facility and provide the skills necessary to maintain and treat patients," he said.