Uhuru Flagship Project Offers Reprieve To Cancer Patients Seeking Treatment Abroad.

Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital which was commissioned during President Mwai Kibaki tenure and officially opened to the public almost nine years later after Mwai Kibaki left State House is not your normal referral hospital but a hospital that intends to reduce the number of cancer patients traveling to India and other western countries to seek for modernized treatment.

Globally cancer has been one of the leading causes of death and human suffering. In Kenya, according Globalcan data, in the year 2018 Kenya reported 47887 new cases of cancer and 32987 deaths. The data placed cancer third killer disease in Kenya after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases.

Globalcan also attributed cancer high mortality rate in Kenya to late diagnosis and poor screening procedures. Most Kenya cancer cases are diagnosed at either stage 3 or stage 4 leading to low survival of cancer patients in Kenya.

A comparison between Africa and developed Western countries indicates that in Africa only three out of ten cancer patients survives while in in developed countries eight out of 10 cancer patients survive. The findings proved the role of modern technology in cancer treatment.

With the new Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre at the Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kenyans will not spend eight billion annually in pursuit of cancer treatment in India, Europe and South Africa.

The Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre at Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital will be a one stop treatment Centre for all cancer patients with a capacity of 100 patients a day.

The oncology department also has a capacity of about 700 beds and a welfare department where family of those seeking cancer treatment will be accommodated reducing the cost of traveling from different parts of the country to the Centre.

Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital will also support Hospitals dealing with cancer diagnosis and treatment with consumables such as radioactive sugars and personnel training.

The imaging Centre will have postmodern cancer diagnosis and treatment equipment such as two PET/CT scanner, SPECT/CT scanner, two MRI 3 Tesla Units, CT 256 Slice Scanner, two Linac Machines, Cyclotron, Radio Pharmacy, Branchy therapy machine and cyber knife machine.

Piston Emission Tomography – Computed Tomography

PET/CT scan is a modernized technology used in detecting abnormal cells depending with the rate at which they absorb energy. The technology uses radioactive materials also commonly referred to as radio tracers inform of a sugar. The radiotracer is introduced in the body through an intravenous injection. PET/CT scan is then used to trace cells and tissues that have absorbed the radioactive sugar and produce their 3D images.

The technique is commonly used to screen cancer cells because cancerous cells are known to have high intake of energy due to their uncontrolled proliferation. Additionally, the technology is used to screen other conditions such as heart diseases, endocrine disorders, gastrointestinal among other diseases.

Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography – Computed Tomography (SPECT – CT Scanner)

SPECT – CT scan is an equipment that combines images from two scans to give detailed information about how parts of the body works and identify where the problem is. At first the patient is injected with a nuclear medicine which specifically attaches to the organ of interest. A combination of SPECT and CT scan images are then taken around the area of interest.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 3 Tesla Units

This technology of screening uses radiowaves and magnetism with the help of a computerized system to take images of cells, tissues and organs. The images taken by MRI scans can differentiate between normal and abnormal body cells making the technique convenient for screening brain cells, joints, bones, blood vessels, spine and other soft tissues.

Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital has installed two MRI’s to decongest the Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre.

CT 256 Slice

This is an advanced equipment that uses a combination of X Rays and a computer system to produce horizontal and vertical images of body parts. The scan can show detailed images of body organs, bones or muscles.

Linac Machine

Linac Machine is an equipment used in cancer therapy and Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital already has already two Linear Accelerator Machines.

Varian’s TrueBeam medical linear accelerator (PRNewsFoto/Varian Medical Systems)

The Machines changes the shape of high energy beams of X- Rays or electrons to conform to the shape of the of tumor cells. The high energy X-Rays destroys the tumor cells sparing the normal body cells.

Cyclotron Machine

Cyclotron Machine is a machine used to produce PET/CT Scan consumables, radioactive sugars. Radioactive sugars produced at Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital will be enough use in East and Central Africa.

Radioactive sugars produced at Kenyatta University Teaching and Referral Hospital will help in revolutionizing cancer care in Kenya because of their availability.

Branchy Therapy Machine

Branchy Therapy Machine is an equipment used to treat cancer. The purpose of this machine is to deliver radioactive substance source into the patient to either kill or shrink cancerous cells.

Branchytherapy which is also known internal radiation therapy places a radioactive material either in the tumor or next to the tumor. This technology is used to treat prostrate, cervical, head & neck, skin, breast, gall bladder, uterus, vagina, lung, rectum and eye cancers.

Kenyatta University Hospital is also using cyber knife technology which resembles a robotic arm for treatment of cancer.

The Integrated Molecular Imaging Centre by President Uhuru Kenyatta at Kenyatta University will be a game changer in early detection and treatment of cancer in Kenya, East and Central Africa.

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