Kenya's health sector has received a major boost in its fight against cancer after receiving two medical electron linear accelerators from America's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
The equipment is valued at over Sh250 million is expected to supplement the government’s ongoing efforts in enhancing local capacity through investment in innovative technology for treatment for cancer and care.
Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the support has come when the cancer menace is devastating to many Kenyans.
Mutahi was speaking during a virtual meeting that brought together senior officials of the agency and representatives from the Ministry of Health.
The CS noted that a majority of Kenyan cancer patients seek medical services abroad and with better investment; the country has an opportunity to intervene.
“Majority of cancer patients in the country and the region seek treatment services abroad. Therefore, there is an opportunity to intervene from within the country with better investments,” Mutahi said.
Mutahi also said there is a need to heighten the fight against cancer to save lives and cushion vulnerable families from sinking into poverty.
The CS thanked the agency for its unwavering support and said the collaboration has put Kenya in a better position to tackle challenges posed by cancer.
According to Mutahi, the country has recorded commendable progress in the fight against cancer. This is echoed by the setting up of the Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Research and Referral Hospital.
Mutahi said isotopes manufactured at the facility will be sent to seven other centres.
The CS was cognizant of the need for capacity building in human resource and the management of radioactive materials besides the capacity to detect, isolate and manage radioactive materials at Kenya’s ports of entry.