Kenya is positioning herself as a leader in the region in the diagnosis and management of cancer.
A state-of-the-art Integrated Molecular Imaging Center (IMIC) is fully operational at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital. The IMIC and hospitality center is the most modern in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Hospital has also commissioned a cancer hospitality center to cater to patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy treatment.
Cancer continues to be among the major causes of death in Kenya, at number four behind Respiratory infections and tuberculosis, cardiovascular diseases and HIV/AIDS.
According to the Ministry of Health data, 42,000 Kenyans are diagnosed with cancer each year with 27,000 them dying annually.
Universal Healthcare is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big4Agenda. While commissioning the new Integrated Molecular Imaging Center and Hospitality Center at the Kenyatta University Hospital in October last year, Kenyatta underscored his government’s commitment to ease access to quality health services for all Kenyans, adding that the Government had invested in the screening and treatment facility in response to the rising cases of cancer-related deaths in the country.
“The scourge of cancer has bedeviled the country for decades causing untold suffering and forcing many families to seek cancer diagnostic and treatment outside Kenya. Thousands of Kenyans who have been traveling overseas in search of Medicare will now get quality treatment in Kenya” said the president.
The Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre Hospitality Centre is also equipped with a 100 persons hostel facility to provide accommodation services for patients and their relatives.This is informed by the need for accommodation when patients and relatives, from far, need accommodation services as patients receive treatment.
“The Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre Hospitality and Accommodation Centre will ensure that family can stay close to their loved ones receiving treatment here, while also providing accommodation for outpatients from far afield as they await subsequent rounds of treatment; eliminating the need for the long back-and-forth journeys that levy a heavy toll on their health and recovery,” Uhuru Kenyatta added.
The IMIC facility is also acting as a training center providing training and capacity building for staff in other Hospitals in the Counties and the East and Central African region.
The construction of a 300 bed capacity children’s hospital is underway at the facility at a cost of Ksh 3 billion.
Cost of Cancer Treatment
Kenyatta University Hospital Board Chair Prof. Olive Mugenda, has also maintained that the hospital has lowered the cost of screening and treatment of cancer in the country, which is becoming a major health and financial burden to many Kenyans.
For instance, Patients are required to part with Ksh 40,000 shillings for screening using a Pet-Scan machine which is 50 percent cheaper than the 80,000 thousand shillings charged by private hospitals.