More than twenty-five cancer advocates from fourteen cancer organizations and the Ministry of Health came together today for the third meeting of the Kenya Network of Cancer Organizations. Each organization shared about the focus of their cancer advocacy work, and the group received a very informative report from Dr. Karagu of the Non-Communicable Disease Division of the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation. Dr. Karagu highlighted the current Cancer statistics in Kenya, the challenges of fighting Cancer in Kenya (health systems, infrastructure, workforce), and Ministry initiatives in Cancer control. Some of the current initiatives include:
- Development of Cancer Treatment Guidelines
- Pilot study on rolling out HPV Vaccine for Cervical Cancer
- Grant application to Gates Foundation for increased cervical cancer awareness
- Ministerial team to develop plan for opening 4 regional Cancer centers (Eldoret, Mombasa, Nyeri, Kisumu)
- Incorporation of questions on Cancer in upcoming household demographic survey
- Step survey to determine risk factors and distribution of non-communicable diseases in the country
The Network partner organizations also discussed the KENCO organizational structure and made great strides toward formalizing this informal networking/advocacy body, so that it will have a firm structure for moving forward and pushing for cancer control as a united front.
Many thanks to Faraja Cancer Support Trust for hosting today’s meeting!