Early diagnosis, screening key towards treatment, management of cancer
Early diagnosis and screening of cancer in good time has been identified as one of the ways that can improve the treatment and management of cancer disease amongst children in the country.
The call was made during a public lecture on the “Evolution of Childhood Cancer Management: From Hopelessness to Cure,” delivered by Prof William Macharia, Specialist, Paediatric Cancer and Blood Diseases, Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi ((AKUHN).
“Childhood cancers can be better managed through early detection and screening at an early stage to enable healthcare providers to begin early treatment with less therapy sessions and few side effects which in the long-run prolongs the life of the patient,” said Prof Macharia.
The public lecture was organised by the Aga Khan University Medical College and School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa as part of the 60th anniversary of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi (AKUHN).
“Childhood cancer diagnosis is not as hopeless as many people might think. With well-managed resources, enhanced human capacity in the field of cancer treatment and management as well as better access to treatment services, we can be able to reach many more children who are suffering from the disease,” said Prof Macharia.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer is ranked as a leading cause of death in children with 300,000 new cases diagnosed each year among children aged between 0-19 years.
In developing countries like Kenya, the majority of cancer cases are diagnosed late when treatment options are limited, hence, the high cost of treatment.
“Availability of cancer drugs has been a major challenge in the management of childhood cancer.
In order to lower the cost of cancer drugs, healthcare stakeholders need to look into ways of bulk procurement of cancer drugs and distribution in the East African region,” added Prof Macharia.
The 60th-anniversary public lecture series for AKUHN seeks to recognize and celebrate the major transformation that occurred as the hospital moved from being a quality leading community hospital to become an Academic Health Centre. The public lecture series will run from October 2019 to February 2020.