Kenya launches programme to curb rising cancer cases

NAIROBI: Kenya's health officials on Friday announced the formation of a National Cancer Control Programme to help manage the rising cases of cancer in the country. Principal Secretary in the Health Ministry, Nicholas Muraguri, told a forum on cervical cancer screening in the capital Nairobi that the agency will be operational from July. "There are 40,000 new cases of cancer and 35,000 deaths per year in Kenya," Xinhua quoted Muraguri as saying. Muraguri said cancer was a major public health concern in Kenya and the government was in the process, through the proposed new agency, to avail vaccine and upgrade health facilities in the country. He said the government was set to open four training centres for cancer control in December. "We are in the process of improving the availability, quality and accessibility of cervical cancer prevention, treatment, and care," Muraguri added. The Health Ministry's 2003-2006 cancer registry shows cervical cancer is the second most common cancer after breast cancer in Kenya, accounting for 20 percent of all reported cancer cases in the country.