First chemotherapy patient attended to at Voi cancer centre - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 6 November 2020

First chemotherapy patient attended to at Voi cancer centre


Cancer patients in Taita Taveta will get care closer to home after the oncology centre at Moi County Referral Hospital in Voi began offering chemotherapy services on Thursday.

It is a reprieve for patients requiring chemotherapy and radiotherapy who have been travelling to Mombasa and Nairobi for the services.

Governor Granton Samboja's wife Stellah Samboja termed the development an achievement towards the fight against cancer.

“This is a great milestone attained through collaboration with multi-sectoral organisations amid the Covid-19 pandemic. We are committed to winning the war against cancer,” Samboja said.

Samboja said the county will strengthen partnerships for the treatment and management of cancer and other non-communicable diseases.

The cancer centre was launched a month ago by the County First Ladies Association through the Empower Project. The Empower Project brings together International Cancer Institute, Women for Cancer, Roche Kenya (a pharmaceuticals and tissue-based cancer diagnostics company) and the African Cancer Foundation.

Samboja said many patients have been scheduled to receive chemotherapy.

“Most of the patients here sought medication in Nairobi and Mombasa. The burden has now been eased,” she added.

Rabecca Mwakichako, a medic, said the number of people turning up for screening is rising.

 The most common cases reported are cervical, breast, prostate, oesophageal and anal-rectal cancers.

Mwakichako linked the rise in cases to the lack of awareness on how to detect and manage the disease early.

"People need to realise the importance of early detection of cancer. Let them come for regular check-ups," she said.

She said patients diagnosed with cancer have been receiving palliative care at the hospice in Taita Taveta in Moi hospital.

According to the Kenya National Cancer Control Strategy, cancer is the third leading cause of deaths after infectious and cardiovascular diseases.

Taita Taveta Health Services executive John Mwakima lauded the partners for training staff to offer comprehensive cancer treatment and management to the residents.

He said the department will hold regular cancer outreach programmes so residents can embrace early screening.

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