The fight against cancer in Taita Taveta has been boosted following the commissioning of the first-ever Bio-safety cabinet machine at the Moi County Referral Hospital –Voi (MCRH-Voi) cancer center.
The bio-safety machine will now be used to compound chemotherapy drugs, a procedure that is crucial in fighting cancer.
The recently launched cancer center has so far screened more than 800 patients, 70 of which have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer with breast cancer claiming the lion’s share at 29 per cent followed closely by cervix uteri at 25 per cent.
The maiden cancer patient of the center is now on his sixth chemotherapy cycle and receiving comprehensive care at the hospital.
Typically, cancer patients have to undergo 18 mandatory cycles of chemotherapy for better odds of killing all the malignant cells, a process that requires a steady and massive supply of chemotherapy drugs.
With the cancer center at Voi now fully equipped to screen, diagnose, treat and offer world-class patient care; efforts are now concerted on public health education at the grassroots.
Health experts emphasize early testing and immediate treatment as some of the most effective ways to defeat the scourge.
Early cancer diagnosis in patients gives them the best chances with curative treatment and long-term survival.
According to data from the Lancet Oncology, 57 per cent of people diagnosed with lung cancer at stage I survive the disease for five or more years compared to only 3 per cent of those who get the diagnosis at stage IV.
Cancer cases in Kenya have been on an upwards trend with 47,887 cases recorded annually with 32,987 deaths each year.
The National government has stepped up its fight against cancer through funding, training, and sensitization across the country.
The Moi County Referral Hospital –Voi (MCRH-Voi) cancer center is one of the national government’s initiatives through the Ministry of Health (MoH) to establish modern cancer center in all 47 counties.
Another effort by the national government in the fight against cancer has been felt through the establishment of training programs for medical physicists and oncology nurses across the nation for the sustainable expansion of radiotherapy services.
By Arnold Linga Masila