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Kenya launches its second National Cancer Strategy that will bring hope to many

Author: Dr. Zipporah Ali Executive Director, Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association
21 July 2017

Cancer is the third leading cause of deaths in Kenya after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. It estimated that there are over 40,000 new cancer cases annually and that this number is expected to rise due to lifestyle changes, environmental pollution and low awareness levels in the general public.

At the recently launch of the Kenya National Cancer Control Strategy 2010-2022, Dr Kioko, Director of Medical Services called upon all stakeholders to join the Ministry of Health in this noble initiative.

 

‘Let us all join hands in halting and reversing the burden of cancer in Kenya’ said Dr. Kioko.

Article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 confers on every person the right to the highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services, including reproductive health care and Palliative Care. Towards achieving this commitment, this second cancer control strategy builds on the achievements of the first national cancer strategy (2011- 2016). It is in line with the Kenya National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases 2015 - 2020 and the Kenya Vision 2030 social pillar that aims to improve the quality of life of all Kenyans.

The strategy outlines broad areas of action along the cancer continuum and will be achieved through five strategic pillars:

1. Prevention, early detection and cancer screening,

2. Cancer diagnosis, registration and surveillance,

3. Cancer treatment, palliative care and survivorship,

4. Coordination, partnership and financing for cancer control and

5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Research.

Within it are stated the roles of the national, county governments and the various non-state actors in line with the multi-sector nature of cancer. Equally captured is the role of the private sector In line with the strategic government policy to harness the critical role of the private sector.

The implementation framework herein signals a radical departure from past approaches in addressing the health agenda by embracing partnerships and accountability of roles. It recognizes the paramount role of the county governments in the health delivery and it hoped that this strategic document will provide the integrated road map towards reducing the preventable morbidity and mortality due to Cancer.

Dr. Joseph Kibachio, who is the Head of the Department of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Ministry of Health, stated that Kenya aims to set precedence in cancer prevention and care through investments in diagnostic equipment, advanced treatment, research and public education.

Many continue to suffer the impact of cancer, many lose hope and cancer seems like a death sentence. We need to change this. As Kenyans, we hope that this strategy will bring a great change in the face of cancer for many.

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