Kenyan doctors set to travel to the UK for specialized cancer training4 months ago 112
The first cohort of cancer treatment specialists from Kenya are set to travel to Christie Hospital and the Manchester University in the United Kingdom as part of a pact between Kenya and the UK meant to build capacity in the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases in Kenya with special emphasis on cancer.
A Kenyan delegation led by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe toured Nightingale Centre and Northwest Heart Centre, The University of Manchester, the Christie Hospital, Manchester University Foundation Trust and the Manchester Cancer Research Centre on Friday as the two countries move to the implementation phase of two key agreements in the health sector signed in July last year.
Speaking during the visit, Health CS Mutahi Kagwe said the latest development will improve the standard of healthcare in Kenya, through research, workforce training and education of healthcare professionals. He said the programme will initially focus on improving cancer outcomes through early detection, rapid diagnosis and the delivery of high quality care.
Cancer is the third leading cause of death in Kenya, after infectious and cardiovascular diseases, and it is estimated that there are nearly 48,000 new cancer cases reported each year.
He said Kenya has invested heavily on health care reforms including training, that culminated in the first curriculum conference which was held in February with representation from over 26 countries, as it seeks to improve health outcomes.
According to Professor Lord Graham, Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester, the University of Manchester and The Christie Foundation will support capacity building adding that the institutions have already put together targeted proposals for funding.
“We have to think together about the workforce of the future. Everyone knows what we have does not work. How do we combine budgets for entire end to end approach? Posed Professor Lord.
Dr. Mary Wilson, a consultant breast radiologist at the health facilities, said there was a need to train teams ranging from radiologists, nurses, clinical officers to radiographers instead of one cadre only if Kenya is to improve her cancer treatment outcomes. She said development of hubs within the country that can allow for development of a workforce that can be a resource for use in Kenya moving forward will go a long way in realizing the objective.
Kagwe said the two countries should also look at the possibility of collaborating at cure level so as to expand the range of cooperation. This even as he called for equity in research and technology transfer saying past experiences seem to have placed Kenya at a disadvantage.
“One of the changes we need to make is that when we get into research, we need to have shared benefits once completed. I Am convinced we have opportunities in which we can all share in eventual benefits of our research findings. Research agreements made years ago are no longer viable.” Observed the health CS.
As proof that Kenya is reclaiming its position as a regional health research and pharmaceutical powerhouse, Kagwe said Moderna is set to establish a mRNA manufacturing facility in Kenya, the first in Africa, with the goal of producing up to 500 million doses of vaccines each year with an investment cost of up to 60 billion shillings. The World Health Organisation has also announced the construction of a logistics hub in Nairobi with the Africa CDC planning to set up a collaboration center in Kenya.