Celgene AMPATH Oncology Partnership

Partnership objectives

  1. Develop a sustainable and comprehensive academic clinical care cancer program for the 20 million citizens of western Kenya.
  2. Become the first cancer center in Sub-Saharan Africa and a future model for international collaboration in cancer care, education and research in resource constrained settings.
  3. Support development of the first Multiple Myeloma (MM) treatment program in sub-Saharan Africa.

The project aims to develop the first cancer center in Sub-Saharan Africa that can represent a future model for international collaboration in cancer care, education and research in resource constrained settings. The project aims to develop the first cancer center in Sub-Saharan Africa that can represent a future model for international collaboration in cancer care, education and research in resource constrained settings. Copyright AMPATH

What are the health needs and challenges?

“In Kenya, cancer ranks third as a cause of death after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It causes 7% of total national morality every year. Although population based data does not exist in the country, it is estimated that the annual incidence of cancer is about 28,000 cases and the annual mortality to be over 22,000. Over 60% of those affected are below the age of 70 years. In Kenya, the risk of getting cancer before the age of 75 years is 14% while the risk of dying of cancer is estimated at 12%. In many developing countries, the rapid rise in cancers and other non-communicable diseases has resulted from increased exposure to risk factors which include tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol and exposure to environmental carcinogens. Other risk factors for some cancers include infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS (Kaposi’s sarcoma and lymphomas), Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Hepatitis B & C (Liver cancer), bacterial infections such as Helicobacter Pylori (cancer of stomach) and parasitic infestations such as schistosomiasis (cancer of bladder).” IPRC, Kenya National Cancer Control strategy

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Since 2011, Celgene has collaborated with the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) and its partners to deliver health services, conduct health research and develop leaders in healthcare. The support of Celgene and other key donors has allowed a dramatic expansion of services through the AMPATH-Oncology Institute (AOI). This effort is focused on the development of a sustainable and comprehensive academic clinical care cancer program serving the 20 million citizens of western Kenya and neighboring areas.  Nearly 20,000 patient visits to AMPATH-Oncology occur each year with approximately 15,000-20,000 women also being screened for breast and cervical cancers. To date more than 100,000 women have been screened for these two cancers that have the highest morbidity and mortality. 

Organizationally, the AOI has four Clinical Pillars:

  1. Screening & Prevention - Key elements include building a screening infrastructure, as well as education of practitioners and at-risk populations. 
  2. Diagnosis & Treatment - Currently, the AOI prioritizes diagnosis and treatment programs by those diseases with highest impact on quality of life and lost life-years.
  3. Palliative Care – With the majority of patients presenting with very late-stage disease with the constraints inherent in the resource-limited setting, a major focus is expansion of an effective palliative care program.
  4. Survivorship Care – As the program grows, providing survivorship care for the increasing number of patients completing their adjuvant treatments and on routine follow-ups. 

Celgene’s support of the AMPATH Oncology Institute has enabled the creation of a successful multiple myeloma program, the first and only in Kenya. 

The AMPATH MM program conducts extensive patient and family education; it held 10 patient support group meetings over the course of 2015 and supported the care of 61 new patients with MM. The program has conducted multiple Continuing Medical Education (CMEs) on Multiple Myeloma per quarter and has expanded its reach to 12 outreach sites and other sites in Western Kenya. Celgene has also supported the establishment of a robust Oncology Pharmacist-led MM pharmacovigilance program and funded IT support for the development of electronic medical records for the MM program with decision support. 

In addition to the MM program, Celgene is also providing robust assistance to AMPATH’s pharmacy infrastructure and novel patient care strategies - including expansion of the: anti-coagulation program, the Learning to Care program - From Apathy to EMPATHE program and the counterfeit medication detection program into Tanzania. In addition, Celgene provides support for education for patients with hematologic disorders, pharmaceutical supply chain enhancement, infrastructure support, and the development of a pharmacy residency training program.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Celgene’s support of the AMPATH Oncology Institute has enabled the creation of a successful multiple myeloma program, the first and only in Kenya.  Achievements include: 

  • Developed safety pamphlets and materials for both patients and healthcare professionals for MM in Kenya.
  • Diagnostic improvements led to an increase from 5 patients diagnosed with MM in 2010 to 61 new patients in 2015. The expected number of new MM diagnoses in the country is about 800/year.
  • Approximately 100 MM patients are seen during routine clinic follow-up visits.


AMPATH-MM Program is currently seeking IRB approval for a 5-year retrospective data-driven study to demonstrate the feasibility of MM care with comparable outcomes in a resource poor country to more advanced settings.

Additional acheivements include:

1) Establishment of the College of Oncology of Eastern, Central and Southern Africa (CO-ECSA) in 2016 to help regulate and improve cancer care in the region. The proposed purpose of the college will be to: 

  • Ensure that certified specialists have sufficient knowledge of their specialty to practice safely and competently as consultants within the region. 
  • Complement workplace-based assessments on excellence in care, safety, and professionalism. 
  • Provide a rigorous regional assessment to establish public confidence. 
  • Offer a challenge similar to subspecialty certification examination in developed countries. 
  • Participate in the accreditation of Sponsoring Institutions, masters and fellowship programs in cancer care.


2) Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital is embarking on establishing itself as a clinical pharmacy center of excellence where pharmacists will be deployed to all the high volume wards in the hospital to provide clinical pharmacy services as opposed to occupying their traditional dispensing role.

3) Anticoagulation care has expanded to serve over 2,300 patients.

4) Increase in numbers of permanently hired testing counselors available for patient care. In just one month, this enhanced testing as a result of Celgene sponsored programs resulted in a 60% increase in the numbers of HIV-infected patients identified on the wards.

Measurement of progress towards objectives 

Estimated overall value of partnership: 

$1.9 million

Estimated amount of people impacted: 

Nearly 20,000 patient visits to AMPATH-Oncology occur each year with approximately 15,000-20,000 women also being screened for breast and cervical cancers. To date, more than 100,000 women have been screened for these two cancers that have the highest morbidity and mortality.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Celgene

Partner(s) Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), Indiana University, Kenya Ministry of Health, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Moi University School of Medicine, National Institute of Health

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases

Disease(s) Cancer

Program Type(s) Availability of Treatment - Financial Support, Availability of Treatment - Patient Safety & Medicines Quality, Availability of Treatment - Technology Transfer - Scientific Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing, Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Health System Infrastructure - Training, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach, Research & Development - Operations Research

Targeted Population(s) General population, Patients in needs of treatment

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 2

Country(ies) Kenya, Tanzania

Start Date 2011

More information 2015 Celgene CSR Report Ampath Kenya website Celgene Global Health Partnerships

Anticipated completion date Ongoing

« The true measure of the impact of Celgene‚Äôs support is not grounded within the direct impact of Celgene funding, but within the long-term impact of programs that have expanded well beyond the pilot to become fully integrated into routine care delivery thr »

AMPATH Pharmacy Funding Report 2015