“Communicable diseases remain the leading killer disease in many developing countries,” a research report from the National Cancer Control Strategy states. Nonetheless, mortality from non-communicable diseases is rising rapidly. Cancer is a non-communicable disease and together with diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases they cause over 60% of global mortality every year.
In Kenya cancer ranks as the third top killer disease accounting for over 32,000 deaths annually. On the other hand, 48,000 people are diagnosed with cancer each year highlighting that the disease is an issue in the country.
Because of this, Aga Khan Hospital has announced plans to open a cancer research Centre and a children’s speciality hospital aimed at offering the most advanced care for children in the region. Both establishments will be among the firsts that the internationally accredited hospital will be investing in, with a view to improving the quality of health care services in Kenya.
But let’s backtrack a bit and see what it means to have a cancer research Centre in the country. Consider these challenges faced by cancer patients and their families.
- It will be a major boost to efforts leading to effective and affordable treatment to cancer, a disease that accounts for 1 in every 10 deaths in the country.
- The centre will provide a rigorous standard for transdisciplinary research and also focus on developing better approaches to diagnosing and treating cancer.
- It will provide preclinical translations while working collaboratively with other institutions.
- Deliver cancer treatments to communities across Nairobi while providing programs and services tailored to the locals’ unique needs and populations. The research carried out through this process and the evidence-based findings can be translated to benefit similar populations across the country and East Africa at large.
- It will Integrate education and training for biomedical researchers and healthcare professions. In addition, the cancer research centre will advance scientific goals and foster cancer programs that draw together investigators from different disciplines.
Read more about cancer from this eye-opening piece that is inspired by Bob Collymore’s story