, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 13 – At least Sh85 billion is required over the next five years to upgrade cancer care services, according to Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o.
Nyong’o said on Thursday that the ministry had conducted a national baseline survey to establish the gaps and what could be done to improve.
“We are going to bring it out as a strategic document this week and send it to Cabinet and Parliament. My goal is not to keep on complaining but provide solutions,” Nyong’o who is also a prostate cancer survivor said.
“We really must have solutions to our problems and since we have people who can do investigations and come out with facts and figures then these facts and figures should be respected and we take action accordingly,” he said at the opening of a scientific conference at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).
KNH Board Chairperson Margaret Wanjohi termed it unfortunate that some countries in the East African region were way ahead of Kenya in terms of cancer treatment and care.
“It is disturbing to hear that Tanzania and Uganda are moving ahead of us. Honourable Minister, can you put us ahead of these countries, not only in cervical cancer but with all the other cancers?” she appealed.
In the last month, Kenya has lost three prominent personalities to cancer. Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai, Margaret Ogolla an author and Court of Appeal judge Moijo ole Keiwua.
The minister noted that Kenya will only meet Millennium Development goals related to health if it embraced innovative ways of meeting them.
KNH Chief Executive Officer Richard Lesiyampe and the Board chairperson challenged the minister to ensure research conducted in the country is used meaningfully.
“We request our minister to push it to the next level so that these research findings will not be sitting in our boardrooms it should be translated to improve the health of our people,” Lesiyampe said.
“Good research should translate into good policies and hence improved capacity to address the issues of national concerns in health care,” said Wanjohi.