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Catholic Church acquires cancer screening equipment

Residents of Kitui County and its neighbouring counties can now breathe a sigh of relief after Our Lady of Lourdes Mutomo Mission hospital in Kitui South acquired Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography (PET-CT) scanner to improve diagnosis and treatment of cancer, in its early stages.

This becomes the fourth PET-CT scanner to be acquired in Kenya after Kenyatta National Hospital, Agha Khan and Coast General Hospital. The scarce equipment is anticipated to save lives especially with the sky-rocketing cases of cancer in the county.

Addressing the media at the mission hospital today during commissioning of the cancer screening machine, Bishop Joseph Mwongela of the Catholic Diocese of Kitui urged residents to turn up for screening in the fight against the epidemic.

“Of late, cancer cases have been on the rise and it is our absolute mandate to fight it. Lives have been lost, others brought at stake, orchestrated by this enemy. I therefore encourage you to hold hands in this battle by visiting this facility for early screening and treatment,” he urged.

He also promised that all hospitals under the Catholic Diocese of Kitui stood a chance of getting more machines to ensure that the residents realised the best screening services.

“We have blessed and kicked off use of this PET-CT scanner which can detect diseases early especially cancer. It is the first machine here in Kitui and also in lower eastern. I would urge the people to ensure they visit this hospital and regularly be screened instead of rushing for over-the-counter drugs,” Mwongela advised.

The Bishop also called upon the residents to prioritize on their health by registering for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to help reduce hospital bills.

“I also request that you enroll for the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) and the UHC that our government has repeatedly urged us to do. It is my call that we also assist those among us with difficulties in paying the insurance levies,” he appealed.

While addressing the press during the function, the chair for the board of Mutomo Mission Hospital Mr. William Maema said that there have been a large number of people in need of CT scanning services and therefore the PET-CT scan machine would be of great help to the people.

“Since it was constructed by the Catholic Church in 1965, this hospital has been of immense help to the residents of Kitui South with its catchment traversing all the areas of the county. Thus, this facility will therefore bring services closer to the people,” Maema disclosed.

Maema also reiterated that since this machine is the first one in Eastern Region, more people were presumed to visit and benefit from the services.

“This machine can detect cancer to its microscopic detail hence, cancer can be detected early thus necessitating treatment in time. I therefore beseech you to make use of this equipment and save our generation,” he said.

By Francis Mwendwa and Denson Mututo

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