Chair of the First Ladies Association, Hon.Nazi Kivutha and Mama Dorothy Nyongo welcomed at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral hospital in Kisumu.The duo led a delegation to evaluate cancer responsiveness within Kisumu County. Photo by Jacob Owiti.
By Lorraine Anyango.
Kisumu County lacks data in cancer management that would be instrumental to inform decisions in investments as well as patients follow up.
This challenge has been fueled by lack of data collection tools, registers and, summary tools among other requirements.
The county also needs linkages with private hospitals in submission of cancer statistics from the facilities.
While giving a progressive report on the cancer situation in Kisumu County, the county health director Dr Dicken Onyango said that data in cancer should be as developed as data captured in the management of HIV and Aids condition.
Dr. Onyango noted that only cervical cancer indicators are well captured and reported on DHIS, against the background of other cancers documented to exits in the county, however one cannot be able to trace the where about of those patients.
“The focus has been on cervical cancer screening, the other cancers are neglected due to inadequately defined indicators.” Dr Onyango said while calling on partners to aid in developing an integrated cancer surveillance system that captures and reports data for all cancers.
The scantly available data shows that in the last ten years, Kisumu county registered 402 cases of breast cancer, 365 identified esophagus cancer, 324 kaposis sarcoma, 328 cancer of the cervix’s, 171 prostate cancer and 164 lyomphoma cancer.
The records further indicate 124 people in Kisumu suffered from cancer of the liver (hepatoma), 76 had colorectum cancer, 46 cancer of the stomach, 45 cancer of the ovary, 26 osteogenic sarcoma and 24 multiple mveloma.
Since 1998 to date there are 22 cancers of the bladder recorded in Kisumu County, another 20 cancer of the pancrease, 15 thyroid cancer , 12 bronchus cancer, 12 endomethium cancer, 11 cancer of the vulva, 10 cancer of the penis, 4 cancer of the stomach and 8 unspecified cancers.
Within the county, cancer patients are receiving interventions and treatment in cryotherapy, surgical intervention and thermo-coagulation
Kisumu County has several cancer screening locations, including JOOTRH, KCRH, Chulaimbo, Kombewa, Ahero, Nyakach, Nyahera, Muhoroni, Gita, Migosi, Lumumba, Rabuor, Airport HC, Ober Kamoth, Kodiaga HC, Katito, Manyuanda, Nyangoma and Bodi.
The county has a total of 19 sites able to screen cervical cancer (Vili/Via) and three sites for I breast, Five sites for cytotherapy and another five with thermo coagulation devices. Kisumu hospice offer palliative care while JOOTRH offers oncology clinic, diagnosis thermotherapy starter package and it’s also the proposed cancer comprehensive center.
The highest number of screening done in Kisumu includes cervical cancer and breast cancer, the screening is done by roughly 30 nurses trained in cervical cancer screening while the county has only 2 oncologists, one at JOOTRH and another in Maseno.
However , there is inadequate opportunities for continuous professional development due to lack of funding for staff who wish to pursue long-term training in oncology – nurses, clinical officers, doctors.
For the last nine months there has been a documented decrease amounting to 324 in the number of cervical cancer receiving via/Vili and an increase of cervical cancer patients on Pap smear while cancer patients with positive Via/vili results increased with 62.
In the same period the number of cervical cancer with suspicious cancer lesions increased by on while 40 more patients were treated using cyotherapty.
The county has partnered with KMET, Africa Cancer Foundation, to support cancer patients, however due to high cost of treating cancer, patients rely on universal Health coverage (UHC), NHIF and cash from funds drives, though funding gaps for patients in the county exists in chemotherapy and diagnostic services – CT scan, MRI.
Apart from gaps in data, the county still has to grapple with inadequate equipment, lack of radiotherapy, few numbers of cancer care staff including specialist.
The screening programs are also working in alone, there is no integrated screening program for all cancers.
Some of the recommendations that Dr Onyango gave included initiating an integrated cancer screening program rather than stand alone as well as development of on integrated cancer surveillance systems that captures and records data from all centers.
“There is need to support dissemination of cervical cancer information through community dialogue as well as partner to support dialogue forums for sub county dissemination of information on cancer.” Dr Onyango added.
Kisumu is set to introduce malaria vaccine across the county as an additional intervention to other existing malaria control measures following the introduction of the vaccine in Kenya.
During a workshop that brought together stakeholders at the Vic Hotel in Kisumu, the County malaria unit plans to implement the malaria vaccine exercise in the county.
According to Fredrick Oluoch, Kisumu East Sub County Malaria Coordinator, Kenya joined two other African countries Ghana and Malawi, who are already implementing the vaccine in the continent. The vaccine is the first ever malaria vaccine to be introduced by World Health Organization (WHO).
Mr. Oluoch stressed that the Malaria vaccine provides additional intervention to other existing malaria control interventions in Kenya and should be used together with other existing malaria intervention as it provides partial immunity.
The Vaccines targets older children between 5 -17 months of age and infants receives the vaccine together with other routine childhood vaccines at 6,10 and 14 weeks of age. Mr. Oluoch also emphasized the need to for children to receive all other vaccines to protect them from other illnesses.
The other interventions are regular use of mosquito nets which is the most effective method in malaria case management, testing and treating at hospitals, community case management for malaria at households’ level through community health workers, use of indoor residual sprays and use of malaria prophylaxis.
He noted that children are at high risk of malaria due to the fact that they still lack immunity(protection) against malaria.
The vaccine targets around 360000 children in Kenya per year and will be of public health impact given the large number of malaria cases in children it will avert.
A bout 30 new cancer cases are reported monthly at the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) indicating very high incidences, this is according to report by the health directorate, following the current intervention strategy programs and services put in place to increase screening among undeserved populations in Kisumu.
It is on the basis of the rising cases of cancer that the Counties First Ladies Association (CFLA ) in partnership with Roche, Women 4 Cancer and Africa Cancer Foundation visited JOOTRH earlier this week in a fact finding mission intended to establish the facts and circumstances of the cancer scourge in eight counties, including, Kisumu, Makueni, Bungoma, Kakamega, Meru, Laikipia, TaitaTaveta, and Nakuru.
Mama Kisumu, Dorothy Nyong’o played host to H. E Nazi Kuvutha together with the partners who pledged commitment to support the fight against cancer through implementation of an Enabling and Motivating Partnership Owned by Women to Engage and Reclaim their lives (EMPOWER).
On their tour to Kisumu’s JOOTRH, the partnership sought to understand facts, challenges and recommendations towards Cancer intervention strategies that will inform the EMPOWER project which seeks to contribute to the prevention, early diagnosis, treatment with standard care and education of women in the community on cervical and breast cancer.
Speaking during stakeholders meeting that brought together, Radiation Oncologists, oncology nurses, specialist and county health officials, H.E Nazi Kivutha of Makueni County expresses her commitment towards the fight against cancer through establishing EMPOWER projects in the Counties in order to prioritize cancer care and treatment as well as strengthening the health care systems for treatment in the counties.
In her remarks, Mama Kisumu pledged support from cancer diagnosis to availability of treatment, adding that in order to kick cancer out of Kisumu, screening must be perfected through treatment.
Kisumu County makes a notch after receiving two ultra-modern ambulances from KENHA. The two moving ICU’s will go to Pap Onditi Hospital and Nyabondo Hospital adding on the number of ambulances in the county.
In addition KENHA is putting up a trauma center at Nyabondo Hospital. The centre will serve patients suffering from major traumatic injuries such as falls, motor vehicle collisions, or gunshot wounds.
The county government has condemned the brutal murder of Ferdinand Ongeri who until his disappearance last Wednesday, was the deputy chairman for the Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN), Kisumu branch.
Addressing nurses at the County Headquarters, Health CEC Prof. Judy Etiang called for speedy investigations as she urged the nursing fraternity to remain calm and cooperate with security agencies to bring the culprits to justice.
The deceased was described as a humble and dedicated person who performed his role diligently as a union representative.
In his address, KNUN Kisumu Secretary general Mr. Maurice Opetu petitioned the county commissioner to beef up security in all health facilities to safeguard the welfare of medics.
According to Kisumu County Deputy Commissioner, John Cheruiyot, investigators were already chasing leads to unravel the mystery behind the murder.
He vowed to upscale security in all health facilities as he urged the medics to provide information to aid the authorities in their probe.
By Collins Owuor
On 18th July 2019, the first-ever forum focusing on health workers convened with a series of actions to deliberate on Human Resources for Health in the county.
The Human Resources for Health (HRH) Kenya which is USAID Kenya funded project convened an engagement forum which brought together county human resources for health stakeholders with the aim of strengthening health systems for improved health outcomes in Kisumu.
Speaking during the official opening of the forum, the Ag. Chief Officer Health and Sanitation, Mr. Stephen Sewe appreciated the IntraHealth International for the implementing of the HRH, a project that has help the health department to identify gaps in the health work force. Mr. Sewe noted that the HRH Kenya mechanisms has helped the County in keeping track of its health workforce and has informed decisions on human resources for health management.
The Chief Officer also acknowledged that the data generated from the system has enabled the county human resources for health in managing payroll clean up thus controlling the wedge bill.
The series of actions laid out by County health medical officers’ representing the 7 sub counties was geared towards deepening the understating of HRH Kenya work among key County stakeholders, disseminate key HRH Kenya best practices through various knowledge products and to create a strong rapport between the mechanism and to its partners including county governments.
In his speech, the representative from the HRH Kenya, Mr. Tervil Okoko was regretful that despite implementation of Universal health Coverage (UHC), the health workforce has only recently started to receive attention.
As a UHC pilot County, Kisumu has a deficit of about 76% of health workers (County HRH data), thus the need to keep track of the size and composition of the health workforce and formulate plans for future needs for HRH.
According to Mr. Okoko, evidence -based health workforce policies are essential to ensure the provision of high-quality health services that support the attainment of UHC, adding that the achievement of health-related SDGs and UHC remains conditional on the existence of a health workforce that is well-planned, deployed and appropriately managed and supported to meet population needs.
Mr. Akoko who represented the Chief of Party Dr. Wasunna Owino was sure that the USAID-funded HRH Kenya mechanism remains committed to its partnership with the County in improving and strengthening the HRH systems for improved health outcomes through support towards: sustainable interventions that increase the number of market-ready health workers, improving quality of pre-service training, Improving the management and leadership of health workers through the adoption of good HRH practices, encourage exchange of learning and information sharing with other county governments and key stakeholders, and Institutionalize the optimization of data use for effective HRH decision-making.
HRH Kenya celebrated County leadership for their commitment and support of the HRH work council committee and for taking a step further to employ more health workers to respond to the demands of the UHC implementation.
The Forum was the first of its kind to be held among the HRH Kenya project counties is Kenya.
By Matilda Atieno
Prof. Judith Miguda Attyang and Mr. Victor Omondi Obondi were sworn-in by the County Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng’ ar in the presence of Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, his deputy Dr. Mathew Owili among other County officials.
Tuesday’s swearing-in of the two officers follows approval by county assembly’s committee on appointments that was chaired by the Speaker.
Prof Attyang comes in as the new County minister for health and sanitation as Mr. Odondi takes the office of the County Attorney with immediate effect.
In her remarks, Prof. Attyang expressed gratitude to Governor Nyong’o on the appointment promising to implement the Governors interests
Among the notable changes she will pursue, the County Minister promised to boost staff level and ensure reliable medical facilities as well as management of Health systems to aid supervision. On the other hand, Mr. Obondi promised to guide the County government on matters of law and compliance.
In his speech, Kisumu Governor Prof. Nyong’o pointed out that the appointment of Mr. Obondi as the Attorney shows his commitment to youth representation in his government.
“Postpone not any work, everyday matters,” He said,
The Governor also urged the appointees and other County Ministers to work diligently stating that there is still a lot to be done.
By Vello Wendo
The county directorate of gender and youth affairs in collaboration with Nyanza Initiative for Girls’ Education and Empowerment (NIGEE) expressed commitment in empowering vulnerable girls and young mothers through donations of sanitary towels in Kisumu West Subcounty.
During the official opening of the event, the County Director of Gender and Youth Affairs Ms Adah Omedi led an open forum discussion with the girls and young women from the 5 wards including Southwest, Northwest, Kisumu North, Kisumu West and Central Kisumu wards to deliberate on the challenges faced by the female gender.
The discussions identified a number of challenges such as lack of economic empowerment, gender-based violence, lack of basic needs due to unemployment that leads to commercial sex and lack of parental skills. The young mothers also expressed fear of being discriminated, threats from the perpetrators and poverty as some of the reasons as to why rape cases were not being reported.
Speaking at the event, Ms Omedi encouraged the group to speak out against gender-based violence by reporting such cases to the paralegals within the community. The County director also urged young women to go for family planning to allow them to raise manageable families. Ms Omedi urged the girls to engage in economic activities by applying for loans to venture into small scale businesses.
The event was graced by the project manager NIGEE, Mr. Alex Ouma with the aim of empowering vulnerable girls and young mothers in the community. NIGEE is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower young mothers to be self-reliant through vocational training.
On behalf of the young mothers, Mrs. Millicent Awino Ochieng’ and Mrs. Mollesha Awour Owinga expressed gratitude for the guiding and counselling offered by the county government to empower young girls on their rights.
By Beatrice Akinyi
Health workers union has suspended the planned strike following negotiations between the union and the County Department of Health and Sanitation.
In an agreement signed by the County government led by the County Secretary, Dr. Olang’o Onudi, the Chief Officer of Health and Sanitation, Mr. Stephen Sewe and health workers’ unions representatives, the union called off a looming strike that has since caused anxiety among Kisumu residents.
The health workers’ unions had issued a 14-day joint strike notice on the 1st of July 2019 if the County fails to address their grievances. The bone of contention being late submission of statutory deductions, late payment of salaries and promotion of health workers.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Chief Officer Mr. Sewe expressed optimism for future constructive engagements with the unions.
“We are forming the Health Workers Council to create a conducive engagement with health workers unions so that we don’t have misunderstandings that can lead to strikes.” Said Mr. Sewe.
To demonstrate the departments seriousness, the chief officer announced that the first meeting is set for next week.
The last-minute negotiation comes in the wake of the rabies outbreak, malaria upsurge and reports on anthrax which have placed the County in a state of apprehension.
The General Secretary for the Kenya National Union of Nurses, (KNUN) Mr. Maurice Opetu urged the County Government to open proper channels of Communication in order to find ways of resolving disputes.
By Noel Summers
The County Malaria Coordinator Lilyana Dayo has called on Kisumu residents to take precaution in preventing malaria prevalence following an upsurge due to the rainy season experienced in the months of April, May June and July.
The malaria coordinator encourages residents to visit health facilities for treatment adding that adequate antimalarial drugs are available in all the county health facilities.
Dayo also urged residents to take personal protection measures such as use of treated mosquito bed nets and mosquito control measures including clearing of the surrounding bushes, closing windows as early as 6.00 pm, disposal of the empty containers and other necessary primary health care measures.
Kisumu being a malaria endemic area, most residents are exposed and the County health department is taking all intervention measures.