Makueni County on Thursday opened doors to its first cancer treatment and management clinic at the Makueni Referral Hospital, Wote.
The clinic is courtesy of the EMPOWER PROJECT, a partnership bringing together Roche, International Cancer Institute (ICI), Women for Cancer and African Cancer Foundation.
The County First Ladies Association (CFLA) was key in realizing the clinic by mobilizing all the partners and resources including the county government and Family Bank which donated five Chemotherapy chairs for the cancer unit.
Speaking at the event, governor Kivutha Kibwana said his administration will commit adequate budgetary provisions for essential supplies and human resources to ensure that the rising burden of cancer in Makueni is reversed.
He said that before establishment of the unit, patients used to travel to Kenyatta National Hospital and private facilities for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This, he said, was expensive and time consuming. It was associated with delays, with patients sometimes missing treatment due to long queues as well as lack of follow up and poor outcomes
So far, the county government has seconded an Oncologist Pharmacist, 2 clinical officers, one nurse and one records officer for the coordination of the unit. Further, it is in the process of recruiting 2 oncology clinical officers, 2 oncology nurses, a radiologist and a pathologist to support the increasing traffic at the centre.
Makueni becomes the fifth county to unveil the EMPOWER CANCER CLINIC after Kisumu, Bungoma, Meru and Taita Taveta.
CFLA chairperson Maria Mbeneka (Laikipia) said the aim of pushing for establishment of the cancer clinics in counties is to enhance early cancer detection, treatment and management while reducing the prohibitive costs of treatment.
The event at the Mother and Child Hospital in Wote was graced by 15 county first ladies among them host Nazi Kivutha, Edna Lenku-Kajiado, Sarah Tunai-Narok, Saline Barchok-Bomet, Wato Kuti-Isiolo, Elizabeth Kinyanjui-Nakuru and Sheila Sang-Nandi.
Others were Priscilla Murungi- Meru, Priscilla Oparanya-Kakamega, Christine Mvurya-Kwale, Dorothy Nyong’o- Kisumu, Stellah Samboja- Taita Taveta and Ivy Bunei of Baringo County.