Cancer center on going construction work at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JTOORH) in Kisumu . In the next 12 months, Kisumu’s Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JTOORH) will offer treatment for all types of cancers to the entire African region.
Currently all cancer patients seeking born marrow transplants in East and central Africa have to travel to India or South Africa for services.
JTOORH’s Kisumu Comprehensive Cancer and Hematology Center (KCCHC) will be the first of its kind in the region and will not only offer radiotherapy, brachytherapy and chemotherapy, but it will also have a major component of taking care of blood disorders.
This new development will position Kisumu as a medical tourism hub in Africa and beyond and provide a platform to treat more people.
KCCHC‘s brick and mortar component that is ongoing is expected to be completed in March 2022 while the required equipment’s among them a pet scan which is an advanced digital tool for cancer will be installed three months afterwards.
“The completion and functioning of KCCHC will increase survival rates among many ailing from cancer, it will reduce mortality rate as early diagnosis shall be enabled.” Dr George Rae, CEO JTOORH says.
Dr Rae added that plans are underway to have banker’s underground sites where radiology will be produced without
Annually 40 women die in each county due to cervical cancer, “That is approximately a classroom of women annually succumb to cancer, while we only have three public hospitals that attend to patients the rests are private hence not accessible to everyone due to cost.” Dr Greggory Ganda, Chief Officer Health notes.
He further notes that it takes approximately 90 days for one to complete cancer treatment, hence only about 90 patients can receive treatment in the three public hospitals during the same period of time, leaving out many.
Alongside KCCHC, Kisumu county government in collaboration with the American Society of Hematology (ASH) are implementing an ambitious sickle cell project. Sickle cell diseases and cancer interventions share some aspects of technologies, expertise and equipment in the area of diagnosis, service delivery, training and research.
The Sickle cell disease project (SCD), conceived two years ago, is a response to the high burden of the disease in the region. Its vision is to be a world class Sickle cell center where clients thrive free of fear and full of hope to overcome pain and suffering associated with the disease.
The center will offer therapeutic apheresis in which defective red blood cells are removed and replaced with normal ones, using special aphaeresis machine. “Ultimately the center will be equipped to offer bone marrow transplant services which will be useful for most hemato-oncological conditions like leukemia.” Dr Ganda adds.
“We plan to screen 38,000 new born babies for sickle cell annually for the next five years, this will help reduce mortality amongst children born in Kisumu as it’s the epic-center SCD in Kenya.” Dr Ganda says.
Studies in Western part of Kenya Predominantly in habited by Luo and Luhya communities have demonstrated high prevalence of SCD at 3.2% to 4.5%.
A majority of children with SCD, die undiagnosed with 50% – 90% dying before their 5th birthday, while approximately 80% of individuals with SCD are below 15 years of age.
Analysis of data available at JTOORH reveals that on average a sickle cell patient suffer 5 episodes of crisis annually and five to ten days hospitalization per episode.
Economically SCD contributes to high productivity loses and exposes families to great financial risks while limiting their access to quality health services.
ORTHER CANCER INTERVENTIONS AT JTOORH
Meanwhile screening of cancer is free at JTOORH. Biopsy processing is also available and it’s supported at the same facility in room 16.
Normally it would cost patients about 35,000 for consolation and biopsy before commencing cancer treatment after diagnosis.
In effort to have early detection, the facility in partnership with international cancer institute (ICI) is also offering training for survivors as support.
“This is a call to all residents of Kisumu to take advantage of these window and be screened, it has been free for the last one year.’ Mr Kennedy Juma Olweny, a clinical care research and administration officer at JTOORH said.
He noted that many residents turn to the hospital when the cancer is advanced and hence little can be done to save their lives.
For the last 12 months that room 16 has been operational, a total of 147 biopsy’s have been conducted, of those 43 have been for breast cancer with 24 confirmed cases.
52 have been for cervical cancer with 4 cases confirmed, treatment of 50 pre-cancerous lesions have been undertaken while another 18 different types conditions diagnosed with 52 pap smears having been done.
JTOORH also signed a memorandum of understanding with the international cancer institute for a revolving pharmacy fund to caution patients when cancer medicating gets out of stock.
Alongside the services currently offered a robust survivor support initiative was launched. Members have greatly benefitted from Mama County, Dorothy Ny’ongo’s support who has made efforts to ensure that cancer patients access safe and nutritious food.
Through her friends she fund raised and distributed food staff and further set up a kitchen garden at JTOORH for the patient to access traditional leafy vegetables.
“Those Osuga’s Managu’s, boo, all those vegetables, those are your life line, have your vegetables at your door step, when you grow them yourself you are not adding chemicals, you get the most of nutrients out of them.” Mama Dorothy advices.
Currently the cancer center at JTOORH has three oncologist and two more excepted by the end of the year.