The Ministry of Health has indicated that palliative care is one of the cancer management interventions that the government is taking more seriously.
This was revealed during an ongoing two day Kenya Cancer Research and Control National Stakeholders’ Meeting at Naivasha.
A Comprehensive Cancer Control presentation from the Ministry showed that 80% of cancer patients present late, hence the need to focus on the management aspect as the mitigation measures are put in place to improve early detection that could lead to successful treatment.
In the presentation, integration of palliative care has taken great strides with 11 palliative care centers having been established in Level 5 Hospitals and additional 30 centers in county public hospitals currently ongoing.
In addition to this integration, the ministry indicated that there are 17 free standing hospices and about nine palliative care units within Faith Based Organisations across the country.
Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) Executive Director Dr Zipporah Ali thanked the ministry for helping in establishing these centers.
Dr Ali said that children have not been left behind and all centers offering palliative care are putting in place a plan to see that children also benefit from these services and urged all Kenyans to make use of the services.
Ministry of Health Head of Oncology Dr Izaq Odongo said integration of palliative care will progress with continued collaboration of relevant stakeholders adding that the Ministry cannot do it alone.
“This is one platform for us to sit and seek the way forward to continue with the integration of these services into our health system. It’s all about collaboration,” said Dr Odongo.
The meeting has brought together ministry officials from the National and county governments, clinicians, researchers, civil society and international partners with sponsorship from the National Cancer Institute in the US.
The two day meeting will involve action planning in clinical research, pathology/cancer registries, cancer awareness/education and sustainable cancer care interventions.