Governor Kivutha Kibwana has signed a cancer management deal with two international cancer organizations which will position the county as a centre of excellence in cancer care.
The deal, signed Thursday at Wote, brings together the International Cancer Institute (ICI) and Roche Kenya Limited (a leading pharmaceuticals and tissue-based cancer diagnostics company) to partner with Makueni on cancer and other Non-Communicable Diseases management.
The deal seeks to undertake an integrated care model in the county for; breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, lymphomas, hypertension, diabetes, and mental health at the primary health care level through the referral system to the Makueni County Referral Hospital.
The two organizations will support Makueni CRH as a treatment center for oncology services and a comprehensive screening and outreach center for the same.
International Cancer Institute Chief Executive Officer Prof. Chite Asirwa, a cancer and blood specialist who signed the partnership for ICI said the organization will provide on a rotation basis mentors: 1 oncologist, 1 gynecologic oncologist, 1-2 surgical oncologists, 1 pathologist, 1 medical officer, 2-3 clinical officers, 2-3 nurse educators, 1 community liaison, and 6 community health promoters to support the Makueni treatment centre.
He said the partnership will emphasize on accessible and affordable cancer prevention, cure and improved quality management for those living with the condition, which he says has been elusive and the reason many Kenyans fly to India and other far off destinations for treatment.
Governor Kibwana said the deal will save many residents of Makueni the agony of having to sleep on the floors of Kenyatta National Hospital as they queue for cancer treatment or selling assets to fly out of the country in search of such services.
He said the deal for set up of cancer treatment centres in counties was brokered by the County First Ladies Association (CFLA) chaired by his spouse Nazi Kivutha who was present during the signing of the partnership agreement.
Data from the department of Health Services in Makueni show the county has a high prevalence of hypertension and diabetes, a growing burden of cervical, prostate and breast cancer as well as sickle cell disease and unchecked mental health issues.
The Makueni CRH registered 253 cases of the above illnesses combined between July 2015 and June 2019.