Comprehensive Cancer Care is one of the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital’s flagship projects. It is aimed at filling the cancer care gap in the country.
According to Globocan data 2018, cancer ranks third as a cause of death after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases in Kenya. There were about 47,887 new cancer cases and 32,987 cancer deaths in the country in 2018.
Most patients in developing countries, including Kenya, are diagnosed with stage 3 and 4 cancers due to insufficient early detection capacity. On the other hand, in developed countries, cancer is diagnosed early and, therefore, survival rates are high.
The Globocan 2018 report shows that only three (3) out of every Ten (10) Kenyans diagnosed with cancer survive the disease compared to Eight (8) out of every Ten (10) in developed countries of Europe and America. This is possible because of early detection, quality and appropriate management of detected cancers.
The cost of treatment of cancer to the economy is also overwhelming. Kenyans spend over KES 8 billion annually seeking cancer treatment in India, South Africa and other foreign countries.
Moreover, Kenya has low levels of PET/CT and SPECT/CT penetration and less than twenty radiotherapy equipment across the country. This coupled with limited availability of oncologists (cancer care specialists), restricts access to cancer care for the majority of the patients forcing those who can afford to seek treatment abroad.
Upcoming Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC)
KUTRRH the Hospital is in the process of building and equipping an ultra-modern and the first-ever PUBLIC Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC) not only in Kenya but also in the region.
The goal is to increase the capacity of the Hospital to offer a fully comprehensive continuum of cancer care. This capacity will entail Prevention, Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment, Survivorship and Palliative Care.
The facility also features a Hospitality Centre that will host up to 100 patients and their family members during their stay at the Hospital.
The IMIC Centre will have state of the art 2 PET/CT Scanners, SPECT/CT Scanner, 2 MRI 3Tesla units, CT 256 slice unit, 2 LINAC machines, a cyclotron, radio-pharmacy, brachytherapy equipment and a cyberknife.
The KUTRRH IMIC will support other cancer centres that invest in PET/CTs through the provision of consumables (FDGs), general support, and personnel training.
The Centre will have the following impact on Kenyans and regional citizens:
- Early diagnosis and assessment of response to treatment
- Accuracy in diagnosis and treatment of cancer
- Improved survivorship
- Reduction in waiting time
- Significantly reducing cancer-related mortality
- Reverse outbound medical tourism
- Attract medical tourism from East, West & Central Africa;
Comprehensive Cancer Care at KUTRRH
The KUTRRH Cancer Centre has managed to run the oncology services in the Hospital throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by ensuring minimal treatment interruptions or delays for oncology patients. KUTRRH has been able to provide the following in the Centre:
- A multidisciplinary oncology approach to patients with the integration of palliative and nutritional care at first oncology review
- Ensuring a Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) assessment for every new patient reviewed at KUTRRH
- Offering timely services by starting patients on therapy within 3 weeks of review (Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy), which is comparable to other World Class Centres.
- Launch of the breast cancer patient support group, with plans to start other site-specific support groups.
- Offering a wide range of cancer treatment options including Surgery, Chemotherapy, and Radiotherapy
- Reversing the need to seek treatment abroad by delivering patient-centred specialised care at an affordable price.
The Cancer Centre is run by experienced Oncologists, Medical Officers, Pharmacists, Oncology Nurses, Medical Physicists, Radiologists and Radiotherapy Technicians.
Since operationalisation of the Hospital in October 2019, more than 6880 cancer outpatients and over 100 in-patients have been attended to in the facility. An average of 20 patients receive chemotherapy treatment, and 60 patients receive Radiotherapy treatment daily.
Upcoming KUTRRH Cancer Centre Projects
- A four (4) storey building for additional space
- Housing 150 in-patient beds
- Private chemotherapy rooms
- A modern oncology pharmacy
- Outpatient clinic review space
- Bone marrow transplant unit
- Modern Multidisciplinary Team meeting rooms
- Staff recreational spaces, among others.