KENYA – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has launched an ultra-modern regional cancer facility with high-tech equipment to offer comprehensive cancer care to patients.

Cancer ranks third as the killer disease in Kenya with over 42,000 new cases each year and the UHC agenda will prioritize access, cost and quality of healthcare.

The cancer center is situated at the Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital in Mombasa as part of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda aimed at delivering quality health services to Kenyans.

The national government partnered with Mombasa county government to establish the facility which will cater to cancer patients in the region and beyond.

It becomes the second public facility of its type in Kenya after the one at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital in Nairobi.

Next month, a similar cancer facility will be opened in Nakuru followed by Garissa, Kisumu and Nyeri counties to ensure Kenyans have access to excellent standards of health at affordable costs.

Expansion of infrastructure for early cancer diagnosis and treatment as well as providing training opportunities for oncology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy professionals will enhance the fight against cancer in Kenya.

At the launch of the cancer center, President Kenyatta emphasized that there would be no significant development conceived without cooperation between the national and county governments.

The two levels of government reached an agreement where the Mombasa governor offered the state land to put up infrastructure and install modern equipment for cancer treatment,” noted the President.

The Head of state restated his appeal to Kenyans to register for the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to facilitate their access to treatment.

I am advocating for continuity in leadership to ensure Kenyans continue enjoying health services the national government has initiated including UHC and improved infrastructure,” he further said.

President Kenyatta commended the leadership of the county government for giving priority to the health of the people and for championing medical tourism which will contribute to expanding the county’s revenue base.

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho observed that a large number of patients from private hospitals were seeking treatment at the public hospital for the first time in Mombasa’s history.

The county has been receiving many referrals from private hospitals as well as support from professionals, consultants and doctors from the private sector willing to practice in Mombasa,” the Governor added.

Previously, the Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Mutahi Kagwe said the government was focused on transforming the health sector through the UHC programme.

“The government is committed to reducing and eliminating the cancer menace by making screening, early diagnosis, radiotherapy and nuclear medicine widely available in Kenya,” CS Mutahi Kagwe reaffirmed.

He confirmed that the government had established unique e-learning initiatives such as the Ministry of Health Virtual Academy where primary health care workers can get access to quality training courses.

Mutahi Kagwe further directed private hospital operators to reduce the cost of healthcare to serve the needs of all Kenyans.

 He urged the private sector to review its charges to suit the government’s mandate of affordable medical healthcare to its citizens.

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