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The government committed to Cancer Prevention and Control

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has presented the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) 2023-2027, which will guide the country to put forward specific priority interventions towards cancer prevention and control based on existing disease burden, risk factor prevalence, global focal areas that are adapted to local context and available resources.

Health Cabinet Secretary (CS) Susan Nakhumicha said that the research control program is very critical since it is the 3rd National Cancer Control Strategy in the country.

“The NCCP demonstrates that the Government is committed to cancer control and prevention. The Constitution of Kenya with the bottom-up agenda will remain focused on delivering health care,” said Nakhumicha.

In a speech read on her behalf by the State Department for Medical Services Principal Secretary (PS) Harry Kimtai during the event on Friday, Nakhumicha said that the document launched is well aligned with Kenya’s Vision 2030.

“There is a high cost of cancer treatment and low survival rates. NCCP will strengthen the health sector and create public awareness of cancer,” she voiced.

According to the CS, the Ministry has been inspired by the milestones it has achieved towards cancer with many success stories about collaborations.

World Health Organisation (WHO) Country Representative Abdourahmanne Diallo said that the WHO continues to support member states to promote national cancer control policies, plans, and programs that are harmonized with strategies for Non-Communicable Diseases and other related health concerns.

As a technical agency, Diallo announced that WHO set norms and standards for cancer control including the development of evidence-based prevention, early diagnosis, screening, treatment, and palliative and survivorship care programs, as well as, to promote monitoring and evaluation through cancer registries and research that are tailored to the local disease burden and available resources.

“Between 30–50% of all cancer cases are preventable and we all know that prevention offers the most cost-effective long-term strategy for the control of cancer. WHO provides support to Member States towards strengthening national policies and programs to raise awareness and, reduce exposure to cancer risk factored to adopt healthy lifestyles,” he added.

Diallo, in a speech read on his behalf by the Head of Communicable and Non-Communicable Cluster at WHO Kenya, Dr. Iheoma Onuekwusi, remarked that WHO works with governments to ensure quality cancer treatment is available and to promote the availability and affordability of quality, safe and effective medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics for cancer which is essential to achieving Sustainable Development Goals and reducing premature mortality from cancer and other non-communicable diseases by one third.

“Together we can promote healthy lifestyles, prevent cancer, put measures in place for early detection, effectively treat and cure cancer, and provide quality life through palliative care,” Diallo reiterated.

He maintained that the WHO will continue providing the necessary support for the prevention and control of cancer in the country.

In his own remarks, the acting Director General of Health Dr Patrick Amoth said that NCCP has 5 pillars including awareness creation.

He stressed that cancer investments require a lot of resources to change the cancer narrative and assured that the Ministry will prioritize measures that will fight against cancer.

By Peace Muthoka and Lucy Gitei

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