November 2017 Dailynation; Governors have opposed a proposal to reverse treatment and management of cancer to the Ministry of Health.
The governors said the ministry could not claim back the management of cancer since health is a devolved function and that it would be the beginning of recentralising equipment, “to the disadvantage of patients”.
“In our discussions, we resolved that the reversal will be a disservice to Kenyans for it will mean a patient in Garissa will have to travel to Nairobi to access cancer services,” the statement from the Council of Governors released during the extraordinary meeting said.
Contacted, director of Medical Services Jackson Kioko said he was not aware of such a proposal.
Cancer is the third leading cause of death in Kenya after infectious diseases and heart illnesses.
Studies show at least 39,000 new cases of cancer and more than 27,000 deaths are reported in Kenya every year.
Sixty percent of those affected have not reached 70.
The large number of cancer deaths has been blamed on lack of awareness.
However, other factors such as inadequate diagnostic facilities, treatment gadgets, high cost of treatment and poverty have also been cited as leading to almost 70 to 80 per cent of cancer cases.
It is probably for this reason that the ministry is believed to be considering taking the cancer care burden.
“What county governments need is adequate funding for equipment and comprehensive training for specialists,” the statement from the governors added.
“Money for cancer drugs should be disbursed as a conditional grant.”
In 2013, the government rolled out the Sh38 billion Managed Equipment Service project to improve capacity for screening, diagnosis and management of diseases.
Treasury allocated Sh700 million for cancer treatment in the 2017/18 financial year.
Governors said they were finalising negotiations for nurses pay agreement after endorsing a draft document which is expected to be processed and registered in court.