As the County Government marked one year since the Oncology center was set up today, cancer victims expressed their gratitude to the services offered in the facility. So far, 15,000 cancer patients have visited the center for various services including surgical procedures and chemotherapy sessions.
One such person is Jossey Ibrahim who was diagnosed with soft tissue sarcoma in November last year and has since been getting treatment at the Nakuru Referral hospital. “When I came here, I found people who accepted me and taught me how to deal with cancer. I even later joined the staff at the center to help with other patients,” said Ibrahim.
The center has two support groups where survivors are able to share their stories and get the much needed psycho social support.
Despite this support, Ibrahim still needs to travel to Kenyatta hospital in Nairobi for radiotherapy sessions.
“I have done six cycles of chemotherapy and just started radiotherapy. It is expensive to travel to Nairobi and seek accommodation every time,” he noted.
According the medical superintendent Mr Joseph Mburu, this challenge will soon be a thing of the past as the County gears up to build a radiotherapy bunker at the hospital. The 500 million project will make the Oncology center a one stop shop in matters of cancer treatment.
“This bunker will change the landscape of health services through improvement of infrastructure and human resources,” Dr Mburu said during the event.
He further thanked the County Government under the leadership of Governor Lee Kinyanjui for the support accorded to the fulfillment of this project.
While agreeing with his sentiments, Health CEC Dr Kariuki Gichuki said so far 3,372 patients have visited the center for reviews, 2,187 at the outpatient, 1,199 have undergone surgical procedures,5,780 for counseling and 335 admitted to the hospital.
“We started with 10 chemotherapy seats but now we have 20 for both the pediatric and the adults,” said Dr Gichuki.
He noted that the completion of the radiotherapy bunker will make Nakuru the 3rd town to offer this facility in Kenya after Nairobi and Eldoret counties.
At the same time, the hospital organized screening for non communicable diseases including breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes and kidney failure.
“These services will be offered for free every last Friday of the month. However, they will be available every day in all the level 4 and level 5 facilities across the County,” Dr Gichuki said.
Agriculture CEC Dr Immaculate Maina who was also present noted a correlation between nutrition and health, adding that her office would liaise with the Health department to enhance cancer awareness during farmer field days.
“We invite you (health officials) to hold screening during our field days as this provides an opportunity to reach people in the farthest corners of Nakuru County,” Dr Maina said.