University's Sh70m research centre major boost for cancer patients
What you need to know:
- The facility will complement Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong'o’s plan for comprehensive cancer care at the hospital.
- Western Kenya Cancer Care and Research Centre director Benson Nyambega said they will conduct research, provide specialised diagnosis, curatives, patient care and support, and establish a national training facility that covers cancer and related conditions.
Cancer patients in western Kenya are set to benefit from a research centre set up by Maseno University at Jaramogi Odinga Oginga Teaching and Referral Hospital.
The university got Sh70 million from the National Research Fund (NRF) to build the cancer centre and install equipment that will be useful for early diagnosis. Its laboratory is partitioned into three sections to handle immunological diagnosis, genomic tests and proteomic tests.
The facility will complement Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong'o’s plan for comprehensive cancer care at the hospital.
During its commissioning last week, Western Kenya Cancer Care and Research Centre director Benson Nyambega said they would conduct research, provide specialised diagnosis, curatives, patient care and support, and establish a national training facility that covers cancer and related conditions.
“We have a range of equipment, which are operated by robots. Ideally, the robots are able to carry out 96 sample testing in a span of an hour,” said Dr Nyambega, adding that depending on the type of test, the final results are given after two hours from the time the samples arrive at the lab.
“The centre will be here to complement what the referral hospital does. We hope that our people from the Western region and beyond will benefit.” Dr Nyambega said, noting that the cancer types prevalent in the region are cervical, breast, gastric, prostate and colorectal.
Also present was Higher Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi, who raised concern that low- and middle-income countries are facing enormous economic impact of premature deaths and lost productive years.
“As part of its strategic response to promote training institutions to build their research capacity, the government, through the National Research Fund, has since July 2017 supported the creation of this robust, responsive and demand-driven infrastructure in favour of specialised cancer patient care,” said Mr Nabukwesi.
NRF Chairman Ratemo Michieka appealed to the National Treasury to increase allocation to the fund to enable them to continuously improve research infrastructure and facilitate science research in local universities.
“There is a need for Maseno University to explore both bilateral and multilateral funding schemes on research infrastructure to supplement the highly competitive government funding,” said Prof Michieka.