Kenya has received a boost in the fight against cancer and neurological diseases with special training of 42 doctors from across the country amid concerns that the country’s oncologist to population ratio is higher than the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended 1:10,000.
The ratio of doctor to population in Kenya currently stands at 1:17,000, a report by East African Development (EADB) Bank says.
The 42 doctors from Homa Bay, Bomet, Isiolo, Kitui, Mandera, Marsabit, Kwale, Meru, Murang’a, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia, Turkana, Vihiga, Kirinyaga, Nakuru, Wajir, Tana River, Nairobi and Kakamega counties have in the past week been receiving special training in oncology from experts from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP London) at Ole Sereni Hotel in Nairobi.
During the medical training and fellowship programme, the Kenyan trainee doctors also received training on acute cancer presentation triage and management of cancer symptoms.
Speaking during the closing and certification ceremony, (EADB) Director General Vivienne Yeda lamented that prevalence of diseases and especially Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in East Africa.
“NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases are now the leading cause of death in most regions in the world,” said Ms. Yeda.
According to The Kenyan Network of Cancer Organisations (KNCO) 27,000 Kenyans die from cancer every year.
RCP projects that 50 Kenyans die on a daily basis from various forms of cancer with the disease being detected too late for effective treatment in 80-90% of these people.
Lack of treatment facilities and expertise for treatment, prevention and early detection are the main factors attributed to the deaths, according to RCP.
“We are pleased that the partnership with EADB and the Royal College of Physicians brings global expertise into the East African Region and will lead to a rich exchange of skills, expertise and experience. The programme will lead to better health for the people of East Africa,” said George Kogolla, Director Programmes and Partnerships at British Council.
Dr. Ruth Board from the Royal College of Physicians added, “We are proud that we have this opportunity to use our expertise to support our colleagues in the East African region. This programme is an excellent example of the Royal College of Physician’s aim to improve care for patients and to develop physicians throughout their career by increasing access to high quality postgraduate training.”