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Sh1b cancer hub to sit on disputed land

By Dalton Nyabundi | May 23rd 2019
Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong'o while launching a radiotherapy center (Cancer Treatment Center) at Jaramogi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Kisumu.

The County is adamant it will go on with construction of a Sh1 billion cancer centre on a parcel of land claimed by Kisumu Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC).

Groundbreaking for the facility was last week interrupted by KMTC students, who maintained the more than three acres belonged to their college.

Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o was forced to make a ceremonial groundbreaking at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) to avoid chaos.

County Communication Director Aloice Ager and Lands Executive Dickens Obungu yesterday affirmed that a contractor was getting ready to begin construction on the disputed site.  

Ager said the land belonged to JOOTRH.

“The hospital gave land for construction of a medical school and left some for the expansion of either of the two facilities. Time has come for the hospital to grow,” Ager said.

Father allots

"When your father allots you a parcel of land for which he owns a title, the land does not become yours."

Mr Obungu confirmed that the title deed for the parcel located between the college and the hospital was with the county government.

He termed last week's protests unfortunate.

KMTC chair Phillip Kaloki, who initially insisted the parcel belonged to the college changed tune.

He said that "talks were on with the county to settle the standoff".

He said KMTC had earmarked the parcel for construction of lecture halls, an engineering centre, a library and playground.

He cited a circular from the ministry of Health directing hospitals to allot land for KMTCs, which gave the Kisumu college ownership of the land.

The county is building the centre to help improve treatment and care amidst reports of increased cancer cases. 

The first phase of the project, a radiotherapy centre, to cost Sh350million, is expected to be completed in two years.

Its completion could save thousands of lives of cancer patients since Kenyatta National Hospital is the only listed public facility offering the same care. 

National Cancer Institute of Kenya data shows that whereas 60 per cent of the 40,000-a year new cancer patients require radiotherapy management, long queues at KNH has left patients staring at expensive alternatives in private hospitals or painful waits.

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