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Residents to get esophageal cancer screening from health professionals

Nyeri County is among five counties that will host a team from the University of Manchester and Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) to deliberate on areas of collaboration on matters of health specifically esophageal cancer.

Acting health CEC Robert Thuo who received the team yesterday said other beneficiary counties include Kiambu, Kisii, Meru, and Nakuru.

The team was led by Dr Marion Kiguoya, Deputy Director Research and Clinical Trials at KUTRRH, where they deliberated on areas of collaboration.

Dr Kiguoya noted that there has been a unique partnership between The University of Manchester, The Christies NHS Foundation Trust, and KUTRRH, which is aiming at raising awareness of Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oesophagus (OSCC) in the country and increase engagement in public screening opportunities using mobile detection units that travel across the county.

According to the International Agency for cancer research, Osopharyngeal Carcinoma is the 3rd most common cancer in Kenya and the most lethal; 99 percent of the patients die from this disease within 5 years. This can be attributed to the late diagnosis of OSCC patients in their advanced incurable stages of the disease.

Speaking in his office, CEC Thuo said the team’s objective was to familiarise themselves with the Nyeri County Health Care system and the Department’s specific need gaps in cancer matters and identify areas of partnership like bridging cancer screening.

He added that it is worth noting that the organisation will establish small screening facilities across the county, which will ensure that services are accessible to most residents, as well as utilize Community Health Volunteers (CHV) for referrals at the community level.

“This initiative will enhance early screening and detection of OSCC and strengthen a favourable referral system between the County and KUTRRH,” noted Thuo.

The team also paid a courtesy call to Dr Pauline Kamau, the Medical Superintendent at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital.

By Beth Ndirangu

 

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