Uhuru unveils cancer centre in Mombasa
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday unveiled an ultra-modern cancer treatment centre at Coast General Teaching and Referral Hospital in Mombasa to step up the war against the scourge.
Speaking after the launch, Uhuru reiterated the government’s commitment to decentralise cancer treatment to the grassroots level to ensure the mwananchi is relieved of the burden that comes with traveling abroad in search of treatment.
The centre, which has a capacity to handle up to 60 patients a week, will relieve the cost burden on locals and aid in early detection of the disease.
The facility is equipped with modern equipment, including a CT simulation radiotherapy machine.
The President said more machines would be brought in to enhance radiotherapy services.
“It’s very important and that’s why we will continue to urge residents to register with the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF). We know what it has done to many families who have sick relatives, let’s not ignore it and we will reap the benefits of the insurance cover,” the President said.
Uhuru also toured the new Cath Lab at CGTRH, a facility that is a godsend for patients with cardiovascular problems.
Last year, CGTRH attended to 6,296 cases of cancer, according to the hospital’s CEO Iqbal Khandwalla, who said of the cases, 629 were newly diagnosed. Khandwalla said 1,690 patients were undergoing chemotherapy and about 300 were on radiotherapy sessions.
Under the Universal Health Coverage, the President lauded the efforts made in the country to advance medicare that have shortened trips to Nairobi or India for the same treatment.
“Kenyans have a reason to celebrate and appreciate the milestone the country has made in terms of ensuring universal health care service to all,” said Uhuru, who was accompanied by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe and a host of Mombasa leaders.
Kagwe said in terms of affordablity, Kenyans with NHIF cards can access healthcare at the CGTHR without selling their cows or a piece of land.
“Let’s be happy and appreciate these good things being done. We can see it here but it is not enough. These people are going to be charged with the responsibility of the equipmentnplaced here,” said Kagwe.
The centre, according to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is one of its kind that was realised as a result of the good relationship between the two levels of government.
Joho said the centre is a testimony of his development record.
“There is no good hospital in the entire Coast region than CGTRH, we are already overwhelmed by the referrals from private facilities, because of the quality of services we are offering at this hospital,” Joho said.
“Today anybody with heart complication can come to CGTRH. Three days ago, my father was admitted here and we had a debate with my siblings on whether or not to admit him here. But because of the confidence I have with this facility, my father was admitted and operated in this hospital and he has been discharged,” added the governor.
“Otherwise we could have spent millions of shillings to take him abroad where he would not even enjoy that family support we gave him while here.”