Machakos residents will benefit from free cancer treatment after Governor Alfred Mutua opened the Machakos Cancer Care and Research Centre.
The first of its kind, the cancer centre was opened at the Machakos Level Five Referral Hospital and it was set up a cost of Sh40 million.
The centre will see patients get surgical oncology, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, cryotherapy, nutritional support and transfusion medicine.
Speaking during the launch on Thursday, Dr Mutua said that with the opening of the centre, Machakos residents who are registered in the Universal Health Care Programme will get free treatment.
He said that the residents will receive quality screening, diagnosis, counselling and treatment.
"Others from the South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc region will receive special rates and all citizens from the entire country will pay a subsidised price – the cheapest in Kenya," Dr Mutua said.
TREATMENT FOR ALL
Dr Mutua said that the initiative is meant to ensure that cancer treatment is for all of and not just a few who can afford high medical fees.
The governor hailed his wife Lillian, saying she helped make the cancer centre a reality.
"I wish to commend our Machakos First Lady Lillian who has been to basically every corner of Machakos County in the last six years, running cancer screening sessions. However, after all these sessions, she would come home slightly sad. Sad not just because the sessions identified people with cancer but because that was just it – identification," he said.
He added that the Machakos cancer centre has been set up with equipment purchased by the county government.
Dr Mutua revealed that his wife Lillian also sourced equipment from friends and well-wishers including Dr Ng’ang’a of the Kenya Cancer Association.
"This is a Machakos government project, fully funded by my government and is not funded by the national government. It has cost us over Sh40 million to set up what we have today," he added.
The centre can do high quality diagnosis and provide chemotherapy treatment and advanced surgery.
The facility will next year get a facelift which will include the purchase of a Sh300 million radiotherapy machine.
He added that the county plans to partner with hospitals and institutions of higher learning and research so that experts from all over the world can work at the Machakos cancer centre.
"We will also utilise telemedicine for consultations between our doctors and experts in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and our African continent," Dr Mutua said.
Speaking at the same event, Health CEC Ancent Kituku said they will visit all villages to screen residents.
Dr Kituku said that they are also going to sensitise residents and create awareness.
Machakos Speaker Florence Mwangangi said that the assembly will ensure that they will approve the healthcare budget.