Revealed: Counties with the highest cancer cases

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha

Health CS Susan Nakhumicha. She has said the ministry is looking into allegations of financial impropriety at Kemri.

Photo credit: Diana Ngila | Nation Media Group

Nairobi, Nakuru and Kiambu counties lead in cancer cases, according to a new report. 

The report on cancer in Kenya, which was compiled after analysising the National Cancer Registry Data for 2021/2022, showed that a total of 42,116 new cancer cases are recorded every year. The report also shows that the country records 27,092 cancer deaths annually.

The report also indicates that two out of three people diagnosed with cancer will succumb to the disease, as 70 percent of cases are diagnosed in advanced stages, with only 23 percent cancer patients accessing cancer management services they need.

In terms of distribution of cancer occurrence in Kenya, central and eastern regions have the highest cancer cases, as Nairobi, Nakuru and Kiambu counties take the lead.

The most common cancers reported within this period were breast cancer at 15.1 percent, cervical cancer at 13.3 percent and esophagus cancer at 11.8 percent. Prostrate and colorectal cancers were fourth and fifth at 10.1 percent and 7.1 percent respectively.

Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha, while speaking during the first ever cancer summit in the country held in Nairobi yesterday, said the government will establish a fund that will address the health needs of cancer patients in the country.  

The CS said: “Cancer bears an immense cost to the nation and families suffer financially and this is mainly due to lack of awareness.”

Speaking at the same event, the US Ambassador to Kenya Margaret Whitman said her country will continue to support the fight against cancer, just as it has done in combating HIV over the decades.

“The US is the largest contributor to Kenya’s health sector, contributing up to $600 million,” she said.

The national cancer summit was organised by the National Cancer Institute in conjunction with other partners and is expected to bring together stakeholders to jointly deliberate on possible actions for a collective impactful response.

The aim of the summit is to review the cancer response to date in line with the cancer prevention control Act 2012, highlight the role of multi sectoral strategies among stakeholders and show case innovations, technologies and best practices of cancer response and to commit to joint action plan for cancer prevention control in Kenya.

The summit will take place from February 2 to 4, 2023, culminating with the commemoration of World Cancer Day which will be held on Saturday in Garissa.