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Health

Investors break ground for Kiambu advanced cancer treatment centre

A local private hospital plans to set up a Sh2 billion cancer treatment centre which will have advanced scanners to diagnose the killer disease in its early stages.

Kiambu-based Tesla Cancer Hospital said it will source the scanners from American multinational General Electric, a global leader in healthcare equipment.

The management said it intends to import a Positron Emission Tomography–Computed Tomography (PET CT) scanner, a new imaging tool that combines two scan techniques — a PET scan and a CT scan — in one exam, allowing doctors to see any changes in the activity of cells and know exactly where the changes are happening.

The diagnostic tool is used to detect cancer at an early age, its location or where it has spread and whether it is affecting the functions of other organs in the body and if it has been cured.

PET CT scanners are mostly found in Europe given their huge capital requirements.

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The facility will be built on 2.5 acres of land in Ridgeways and is set to be completed in two years. It will have 105 beds for cancer patients.

The project is financed by a consortium of investors, including doctors, with funds sourced through debt and equity share from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank.

“With the rapid rise of cancer and other forms of non-communicable disease in Kenya, there is a significant opportunity to strengthen health services to improve standards of care,” said Daniel Githegi, chairman of Tesla Cancer Hospital, during the groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday in Ridgeways, along Kiambu road.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta attended the launch. Statistics from the government indicate that Kenyans spend Sh8 billion annually seeking cancer treatment in India, South Africa and Dubai.

Two months ago, Health secretary James Macharia said rising cases of non-communicable diseases like cancer, heart and kidney ailments were affecting the economy with 7,000 patients spending billions of shillings in foreign countries. Of the figure, he said, 5,600 are cancer patients.

“This must be reversed. We are talking with doctors to see ways of bringing into Kenya the latest technologies like the PET scan for cancer,” he said during a cancer forum held in Nairobi.

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