Waiguru launches cancer center, pledges to hire more specialists

Waiguru launches cancer center, pledges to hire more specialists

Governor Waiguru unveils the new Kerugoya Hospital Cancer Center that has a capacity to screen 20 people per day. PHOTO| COURTESY

  • The cancer screening services to be offered in this center will supplement the Kerugoya hospital mammogram machine for breast cancer screening and CT scan machine for early diagnoses of many types of cancer.

Kirinyaga Governor has launched a cancer center at Kerugoya Hospital and pledged to hire more specialists in order cater for the rising cases of cancer in the county.

At the same time, the governor said she is also considering the promotion of health workers in the upcoming county budget.

Speaking while launching the center on Monday, Waiguru said that the additional specialists will be deployed in the various areas of cancer treatment.

The center was established through collaboration of the County Government and the County First Ladies Association, Roche Pharmaceuticals, International Cancer Center Institute, Women 4 Cancer and African Cancer Foundation.

The governor said that the center is one of its kind and will bring the much needed quality cancer screening and treatment services to Kirinyaga and Mt. Kenya region.

“With this cancer center, many more people in our county will now access the care they need under one roof, with their families close by. It will save them from travelling long distances and incurring costs in search of cancer treatment at national referral facilities such as Kenyatta National Referral Hospital, Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and other private hospitals.” Said the governor. 

She noted that there was no doubt that the socio-economic impact of cancer, which includes loss of productivity, cost of care and premature death, has continued to threaten the achievement of the county’s development goals and aspirations.

Estimates from the Global Cancer observatory indicate that there were over 27,000 cancer deaths in Kenya with approximately 42,000 new cancer diagnoses in the same year.

Waiguru said that in Kirinyaga County, one in 10 deaths is due to Cancer, making it the 2nd leading cause of premature death among non-communicable diseases, after cardiovascular disease.

She urged all residents to embrace routine screening since many forms of cancers if diagnosed at an early stage can be managed and treated successfully.

The cancer screening services to be offered in this center will supplement the Kerugoya hospital mammogram machine for breast cancer screening and CT scan machine for early diagnoses of many types of cancer. Besides the usual clinical equipment, the governor said that the cancer center will have cryotherapy machine which will be used to treat cancerous cervical cancer lesions.

She added that the county government is soon going to open the Kerugoya County Referral Hospital Complex which will also house a cancer inpatient unit with state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment facilities.

“My government will commit adequate budgetary provisions for essential supplies and human resources to ensure that the rising burden of cancer in Kirinyaga is reversed”, she said.

Among the guests present at the event was Kisumu County First Lady, Dorothy Nyong’o who is also the Managing Trustee of the African Cancer Foundation. She lauded governor Waiguru for taking proactive action against cancer by launching a cancer center which she noted will go a long way in reducing the suffering and financial burden of cancer patients.

Kirinyaga First Gentleman, Kamotho Waiganjo noted that Covid-19 has taught us the need to invest more on health infrastructure. He asked for more partners to walk with the county to ensure that he cancer center runs smoothly while calling on all men aged 40 and above to go for screening.

Dr. Joan Paula Bor from the Ministry of Health National Cancer Control Program said that many deaths are preventable through early cancer detection, saluting governor Waiguru for establishing the center.

Kerugoga Cancer Center is one of the major development projects that the county government has undertaken in the health sector within the last four years.

The county’s biggest achievement has been the construction of a state-of-the-art complex that is set to elevate Kerugoya Hospital from a Level 4 to a Level 5 facility. It will have an ICU, a HDU and a 345 inpatients’ beds all fitted with piped oxygen among other amenities.

The county government is also in the process of opening 19 dispensaries in order to increase accessibility to primary health care across the county.

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