US-based health equipment manufacturer Guided Therapeutics has received additional orders to supply cancer screening equipment to the Nairobi County government.
The Nairobi County Health Services Department has bought five LuViva cervical cancer screening machines for an undisclosed amount. The devices will be distributed to various hospitals within the county.
This is the second batch after the first order was made in late 2015.
At the time Guided Therapeutics said the sale of one device was worth Sh3.2 million.
In total the county government’s Health department plans to buy 13 screening devices by the end of the year, which will allow hospitals to screen up to 10,000 female patients per month.
“With its immediate results and ease of use, we believe that LuViva is the best option for screening for cervical cancer. Routine screening, which leads to early detection, combined with other prevention measures, is the best way to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer, which is a major problem in East Africa,” said Nairobi health services chief officer Robert Ayisi.
Guided Therapeutics said in the statement that globally $6 billion (Sh600 billion) is spent every year on primary screening and by 2020 this will increase to $9 billion (Sh900 billion).
The company estimates there are some 1.5 million women in Nairobi eligible to use its devices for early screening of cervical cancer. The World Health Organisation and the International Cancer Organisation estimate there are 15 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed each week in Nairobi.
The health equipment manufacturer plans to work with the government to roll out its cancer screening equipment countrywide.
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“We believe that working with governments is the most effective way to use LuViva for the early detection of cervical cancer and we are pleased to be working with Nairobi County,” said the firm’s chief executive Gene Cartwright.
The national government on its part will use public private partnerships in putting up three cancer treatment centres.
Health secretary Cleopa Mailu separately said the government is working on a plan that will hem in the private sector, the national and county government health departments.
“A project appraisal team has been appointed to spearhead this process. The national government is also collaborating with county governments that have expressed their willingness to invest in cancer treatment centres that will provide useful guidance to all stakeholders involved in cancer care and treatment,” said Dr Mailu.