Cancer patients in the country can breathe a sigh of relief after the installation of a new cancer machine in Aga Khan University Hospital.
The hospital has acquired an ultra-modern Positron Emission Tomography (PET) CT scanner and Cyclotron from GE Healthcare.
The PET CT machine is a molecular imaging system that gives an accurate indication of the progress of cancer in its earliest stages.
With this technology, clinicians can confidently assess a patient’s response to cancer treatment, reducing time spent on unnecessary procedures and cost of treatment.
The acquisition of the equipment is part of an ambitious cancer therapy and management project that has been set up at the facility valued at S658.2 million.
“Through the acquisition of this specialised system, AKUH has reaffirmed its premier status as the leading provider of quality clinical care, teaching and research in sub-Saharan Africa. No longer will people need to leave the region in order to benefit from its life-saving diagnostic capabilities,” a statement by the hospital sent to newsrooms read.
Patients in need of specialised location of cancer in their bodies and determination of the disease stage have in the past been flying out to countries, notably India, for the procedure.
It is expected that the arrival of the technology at AKUH will ease the process of seeking specialised cancer treatment for cancer patients in in the country
According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is now the second leading cause of death globally, with 70 per cent of death occurring in low and middle income countries.
AKU chief executive Dr Shawn Bolouki said about 70 per cent of patients do not respond to their initial chemotherapy. This means only 3 in every 10 patients will get favourable outcomes from their initial chemotherapy sessions.
Dr Bolouki said AKU is committed to health professional education.
“We are committed to providing quality education to all cadres of the medical profession, from students in medicine, nursing and other health science professions and to the continuing education of health professionals in practice, supporting the building of health expertise in the region,” he said.
The equipment will be officially launched by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Friday.