The fight against cancer in the country has received a boost after a machine for diagnosis and treatment of the disease was launched on Monday.
The Elekta’s versa HD system machine is an advanced linear accelerator designed to treat a broad spectrum of cancers and significantly enhance patient care.
Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mercy Mwangangi said that Elekta’s Versa will enable better accuracy in tumour targeting by oncologists while protecting the critical surrounding structures, hence improving the treatment outcomes for patients and reducing side effects from radiotherapy.
“This machine will be instrumental in bridging the quality and accessibility of proper health care for cancer patients. With this initiative, we are sure to witness the best treatment outcomes,” said Mwangangi.
She was speaking during the launch of Elekta’s versa HD system for advanced cancer treatment at HCG CCK cancer center in Nairobi.
Mwangangi said that the Cancer Centre was the first hospital to introduce the latest technology in the Sub- Saharan region of Africa.
The machine will reduce the overall patient treatment duration currently between five and seven weeks for standard treatments to a maximum of one week.
This will help in reducing the side effects experienced among patients being treated using hypofractionated regimens.
According to BS Ajaikumar, Healthcare Global Enterprises Limited chairman, the machine can treat up to 150 patients in one day.“Patients who travel overseas to receive this specialized treatment annually would not need to travel since the advanced treatment would be available in Kenya,” he said.
He added that patients who utilize the machine will have access to the best outpatient oncology care in Kenya and the entire region.
Mwangangi said that cancer is the third leading cause of death in Kenya after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases accounting for 8 per cent of overall mortality with 42,000 cases and 27, 000 deaths annually.
She said that the majority of cancer patients are diagnosed at late stages when treatment outcomes are poor and, therefore, thousands of people succumb to cancers that would often be treatable.