Meru County government is putting in robust efforts to address the cancer menace that has faced residents in the region.
Speaking while issuing a Sh1 million cheque to Meru hospice which provides palliative care and pain management to cancer patients, County Governor Kiraitu Murungi said his government was keen on putting up measures that will comprehensively address the menace.
He announced that the hospice will form a long-term partnership with the Meru Mount Kenya run limited company, a subsidiary of Meru County Investment Development Corporation (MCIDC), to raise funds that will be used for cancer management.
The company is tasked with organising and management of the annual Mount Kenya run in the county. “We have agreed that part of the proceeds from these events will go to cancer management to enable institutions like the Meru hospice to take good care of patients,” Kiraitu said.
He said the county was also at an advanced stage in establishing the Meru Cancer Institute which is one of the only two such projects in the country that have been included in this year’s budget by the national treasury.
“We have already set aside two acres of land where the institute will be established and this will be a major boost to the fight against cancer in Meru County and the country at large,” he said.
He said his government was also keen to ensure that courses in cancer management were introduced in the newly established Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) campuses in Kanyakine, Miathene, Kangeta, and Maua to ensure there were enough personnel to be seconded to Meru hospice and other similar institutions.
“I will also be working on a massive project to ensure the acquisition of Sh600 million radiotherapy machines to relieve residents of the pain and expenses incurred in traveling to seek the services in Nairobi,” Kiraitu said.
The Hospice’s Programs Coordinator Gladys Mucee commended the county government for supporting their programs including the donation of a piece of land where the facility sits as well as offering fuel to vehicles that are used to visit patients.
“The facility has served about 5,000 patients since its inception in 2001 and we currently have 444 patients. The oldest is 102 years with the youngest at two years,” said Ms Mucee.
The facility also has 47 cancer survivors who have formed support groups that take care of other patients.
By Dickson Mwiti