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Why Kenyans Will No Longer Have To Travel To India For Cancer Treatment

Kenyans will no longer have to travel to India or any other country for cancer treatment.

This comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre (IMIC) at the Kenyatta University Teaching Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) on Saturday, October 16. The facility is set to offer both diagnosis and treatment services.

IMIC will have state-of-the-art Computerised Tomography (CT) scanners, whose imaging offers accurate diagnosis, which is among the main reasons patients travel abroad. It will also host a cyclotron machine, used to produce radio isotopes common in imaging procedures.

KUTRRH Board Chair Prof. Olive Mugenda stated that the hospital had partnered with Christie Hospital and PET-CT Academy to provide imaging training to the staff, which would see the facility become a centre of molecular imaging in the region.

Speaking during the event, Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, stated that the facility would ease the financial burden on Kenyans who travel abroad to seek treatment. 

"We have set up a formula that we will charge Kenyans and other people in this region at a cost that is less than or equal to that of India," the CS stated.

Kagwe revealed that his ministry was also working on a plan that would ensure that all Kenyans receive treatment under the National Hospital and Insurance Fund (NHIF).

"All patients who come here will get full coverage of their treatment. Nobody will need to start going back to their pockets, provided they have their NHIF card," Kagwe added.

President Kenyatta stated that his government invested in the Ksh2 billion facility in recognition of cancer prevalence in the country. Currently, it is the third leading cause of loss of lives in the country, and projections indicate that the cancer burden would grow by 85 percent by 2030.

The centre aims at filling the cancer care gap in the country. Annually, Kenyan patients spend up to Ksh10 billion on cancer treatment. The government believes that with early diagnosis, this amount is set to reduce.

Mugenda stated that the facility would be under the management of the government of England for 18 months as it tries to build the capacity of the hospital and offer training to the technical staff.

IMIC will also have a hospitality centre that will have the capacity to host 100 patients as well as their families as they await treatment. It will be the first public comprehensive cancer centre.

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IMIC India Kenyans Mutahi Kagwe Uhuru Kenyatta

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