Cancer education for primary healthcare professionals in Kenya

Partnership objectives

The objective of the programmeis to provide primary healthcare professionals with practical and specific knowledge for comprehensive cancer control and care that can be put into daily practice. This will translate into more timely diagnosis, referral and effective management of cancer patients.

A photo taken at MoU ceremony at TICAD VI (August 28th, 2016 in Nairobi) A photo taken at MoU ceremony at TICAD VI (August 28th, 2016 in Nairobi) Copyright Takeda

What are the health needs and challenges?

There is an enormous deficit in the capacity for cancer management in Kenya, thus the majority of patients present in advanced stages when nothing much can be done. Kenya has only one public cancer treatment centre in Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) managed by four cancer specialists, with associated inadequate supplies of chemotherapy drugs and palliative care services.

Moi Teaching and Referral hospital (MTRH) runs a chemotherapy centre and has three cancer specialists.

There are three private cancer treatment centres in Nairobi with six linear accelerators and more than five cancer specialists but unfortunately these private facilities are unaffordable to majority of Kenyans.

In addition to the infrastructure challenges, the current training curriculum for primary health care providers does not have specific modules in cancer management such as cancer screening, early diagnosis, timely referral and palliative care.

With the rise of cancer in countries with a limited oncology community, it is critical that cancer control and cancer care collaboration be exercised at all sectors of the healthcare system.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Each course offered will train 20 primary health care providers, which will include medical officers, clinical officers and nurses chosen by the county governments

Training the primary health care providers in the community will positively impact early detection, early referrals, cancer screening and continuous patient education. They will also impact on patient follow up during, while on and after cancer treatment, especially for the majority of patients who are from rural areas.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

This course provides primary care professionals with practical and specific knowledge of oncology that can be put into their daily practice to improve cancer care. This will translate into timely diagnosis, referral and effective management.

Measurement of progress towards objectives

A critical outcome will be providing HCPs in the most rural areas the ability to recognise the early warning signs for different types of cancers, and to help their patients suspected of having cancer.

With over 40 000 new cancer cases in Kenya per year alone, and cancer expected to increase by 85% by 2030, the impact will be significant.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Takeda

Partner(s) Elewa Foundation

Type of Partner(s) NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Cancer

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Training


Research Country(ies) Kenya

Start Date 2016

More information Annual Report 2016

Anticipated completion date Ongoing