Governors want cancer treatment retained at counties

Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Josphat Nanok. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Josphat Nanok. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Council of Governors (CoG) has rejected a proposal by the Ministry of Health to retain cancer treatment and management saying the move would increase the burden of patients seeking cancer care.

CoG chairman Josphat Nanok said the reversal of the function would disadvantage Kenyans by recentralising equipment and cancer care. This means a patient in Garissa, for instance, would have to travel to Nairobi to access cancer services, he said.

Mr Nanok noted that following discussions with concerned parties, governors have resolved to retain the function at the county level with the aim of pushing for adequate funding for equipment and comprehensive training of cancer specialists.

“What county governments need is adequate funding for equipment and comprehensive capacity building for specialists at the county level,” said Mr Nanok.

“Monies for cancer drugs should be disbursed as a conditional grant.”

Mr Nanok was speaking at the CoG headquarters at Delta House, Westlands on Thursday during a governors’ extra ordinary meeting attended by the World Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates representatives.

This comes as the Sh6 billion Kakamega County Teaching and Referral Hospital is set to begin operations in June.

The 500-bed capacity and first referral hospital in western region will specialise in treatment of terminal illnesses such as cancer, kidney and diabetes at a “cost-effective fee”.
Cancer organisations have recently raised the alarm over the lack of treatment centres in counties.