The Aga Khan University Hospital has announced plans to establish a cancer centre that will spearhead research in the disease and become the first base for clinical trials in East and Central Africa.
Speaking during the hospital’s 60th anniversary gala dinner, Aga Khan University President, Firoz Rasul, said the hospital has also established a fully fledged department of oncology that will offer a concerted and multidisciplinary approach in the management of cancer cases.
It is estimated that more than 30,000 people die in Kenya as a result of cancer. With scarcely populated medical specialists and treatment facilities and late diagnosis, many patients fail to access timely interventions.
“While 60 years ago we built a strong foundation based on the best equipment and technology, best staff, and best care for our patients, we believe that the future will be built upon new knowledge, new drugs, new treatments, and investments in innovative technology and approaches,” said Firoz Rasul, President of the Aga Khan University.
“Research is the foundation upon which we will continue to pursue excellence and leadership in service delivery and health education. This is with a long-term view to contribute in providing more solutions to the complex health and social challenges facing the world today,” Mr Rasul said.
During the event, the hospital launched commemorative stamps in partnership with the Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) as part of the hospital’s 60th anniversary celebrations. AKUH,N also launched a coffee table book that documents its history and growth
AKUH,N CEO Shawn Bolouki paid tribute to the staff as the foundation of the hospital’s growth. “We want to acknowledge members of our staff who have been with us for many years and whose work has made our hospital the pioneer it is known for,” he said.
“If I may mention just a few, I would like to acknowledge Dr Yusuf Dawood, who has been writing the ‘Surgeon’s Diary’ in the Sunday Nation since 1980; Dr. Osman Miyanji, a paediatric neurologist, has been with us for four decades. It is to him that we credit the children’s emergency department and wards.”
Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu, who was the chief guest at the gala dinner, called for enhanced partnership between corporates and county governments to bridge the gap in the provision of public healthcare.
“Through the equipment leasing model for example, we now have mammogram and MRI-Magnetic resonance imaging facilities. The gap however remains in the expertise. I believe this is where partners like AKUH,N and others can come in to help with the knowledge transfer so that we can empower our hard -working and committed public health workers to do more,” Dr Karugu said.