Kenya launches policy document to help deal with cancer

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Kenya’s Ministry of Health on Friday launched Kenya Cancer Policy 2019-2030 to help address the growing burden of disease in the country.

Rashid Aman, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health of Kenya, said that the cancer policy documents provide a framework on how to comprehensively manage the cancer burden.

“Cancer has been slowly and quietly consuming our people. It is one of the most impacting diseases on our people and the health facilities in recent times,” Aman told journalists during the launch of the document in Nairobi.

He said that the Kenya Cancer Policy 2019-2030 is expected to help reduce the number of deaths since every household in the country has in one way or another, been affected by the deadly disease.

Aman said that people with underlying conditions such as cancer are at higher risk of contacting COVID-19.

He said that out of the 154 patients that have succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic, six were nursing cancer at the time of their death.

“Cancer care can now be accessed in county facilities. Every household has been affected by cancer. Recognizing the burden of cancer, Uhuru directed the ministry to develop cancer policy,” said Aman.

The Ministry of Health estimates that 47,887 Kenyans are diagnosed with cancer every year and 32,987 patients die annually.

Aman, who also launched the breast cancer screening pilot report dubbed “Breast Health Awareness Campaign”, said the document will guide the scaling up of breast cancer screening services in the country.

He said that breast cancer is the leading type of cancer in Kenya with about 6,000 new cases every year.

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