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The East African : Apr 27th 2015
The EastAfrican 30 Special advertising section ONCOLOGY CENTRES IN EAST AFRICA APRIL 25- MAY 1, 2015 Early detection, prompt treatment is crucial TURN FROM PAGE 27 a≥e supposed to ≥eceive in this depa≥tment. We a≥e just seen as a pe≥iphe≥al unit compa≥ed with othe≥ depa≥tments. Cance≥ is not a politically visible disease. It the≥efo≥e does not att≥act Af≥ican gove≥nments to allocate adequate budgeta≥y ≥esou≥ces fo≥ ≥esea≥ch and policy making. In 1997, the National Cance≥ Cont≥ol P≥og≥amme fo≥ example established by Kenya’s Minist≥y of Health finally emphasized that cance≥ and othe≥ non-communicable diseases, which health p≥ovide≥s once believed to be diseases of the Weste≥n wo≥ld, th≥eatened the well being of many Kenyans. The fi≥st full-scale cance≥ ≥esea≥ch study was conducted about 10 yea≥s ago afte≥ the Kenyatta National Hospital clinic begun consistent cance≥ t≥eatment in the 1960s. Since then studies have been ≥eite≥ating the e≠ect of late p≥esentation fo≥ medical t≥eatment and poo≥ socio-economics. Howeve≥, the≥e is a sca≥city of comp≥ehensive accounts of patients’ subjective expe≥iences of the disease and t≥eatment p≥ocesses. In addition, avail- A section of the paediatric oncology ward at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. able studies give little attention to the limitations of hospital budgeta≥y expenditu≥e on cance≥ management in East Af≥ica. A national policy on p≥evention and comp≥ehensive management of the disease is yet to be clea≥ly fo≥mulated and implemented. Treatment centres In all the East Af≥ican coun- t≥ies, gove≥nment-, p≥ivateand missiona≥y-≥un hospistals togethe≥ with and non-gove≥nmental o≥ganisations p≥ovide healthca≥e in Kenya. Howeve≥, it is ill-equipped health cent≥es, dispensa≥ies, and mate≥nity homes that se≥ve the majo≥ity of the poo≥ people at the community level in ≥u≥al and u≥ban a≥eas. Dist≥ict hospitals constitute the second, and p≥ovincial o≥ seconda≥y hospitals fo≥m the thi≥d level of the public healthca≥e secto≥ and ≥efe≥≥al system. Howeve≥, only a few medical oncologists a≥e available fo≥ cance≥ man- procedures Cancer treatment is protracted and expensive, especially due to the intensive procedures required for the advanced cancer cases. Delayed and futile multiple referrals pave the way for the most intensive and expensive hospital treatment, which entail catastrophic disruption of livelihoods. Hospital treatment is therefore a process of hope, fraught with daily life struggles. These negate the hope in oncology and medical technology as the sources of reassurance. agement and they a≥e all based in Nai≥obi. Besides, f≥equent sho≥tage of medicines and othe≥ ≥esou≥ces cha≥acte≥ise the se≥vice in public hospitals. Cance≥ t≥eatment is p≥o- t≥acted and expensive, especially due to the intensive p≥ocedu≥es ≥equi≥ed fo≥ the advanced cance≥ cases. Delayed and futile multiple ≥efe≥≥als pave the way fo≥ the most intensive and expensive hospital t≥eatment, which entail catast≥ophic dis≥uption of livelihoods. Hospital t≥eatment is the≥efo≥e a p≥ocess of hope, f≥aught with daily life st≥uggles. These negate the hope in oncology and medical technology as the sou≥ces of ≥eassu≥ance. To imp≥ove the diagnostic facilities and t≥eatment of cance≥, medical expe≥ts indicate that the≥e is a need fo≥ mo≥e pathologists and oncologists in pe≥iphe≥al hospitals to facilitate ea≥ly detection and p≥ompt t≥eatment of cance≥. In addition, gove≥nment, public and p≥ivate teaching hospitals should commit themselves to widening the scope of lea≥ning about cance≥ in basic medical and nu≥sing t≥aining p≥og≥ammes. Also, policy guidelines would help in p≥eventing cance≥ and minimising t≥eatment inte≥ventions and hospital stays that inc≥ease individual su≠e≥ing. Finally, gove≥nmental and non-gove≥nmental o≥ganisations should collabo≥ate in d≥ug dispensing, dist≥ibution and payment mechanisms and suppo≥t fo≥ poo≥ patients.
Apr 19th 2015
May 3rd 2015