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Cancer treatment time set to shorten after launch of machine



By Judith Gicobi

Following the presentation of an improved machine by the MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi, cancer therapy duration will be reduced to one week from an expected 37 to 51 days.

Elekta’s Versa HD is designed to reduce the impact of radiation on patients by directing doses directly to the damaged healthy tissues, in addition to reducing treatment duration.

Dr Mercy Mwangangi, the Health Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS), stated that this will enhance patient treatment outcomes and lessen radiation adverse effects.

“The high precision treatment techniques that the new radiotherapy machine we are inaugurating today will offer will enable better accuracy in tumor targeting by our oncologists with the protection of the critical surrounding structures,”  she stated  yesterday at the Health Care Global Cancer Care Kenya (HGCCCK) Centre within the hospital, where she unveiled the machine.

Mwangangi acknowledged the crucial role the private sector performs in health care service delivery, including for cancer, after noting that cancer treatment is one of the biggest expense generators for chronic illness internationally.

“I urge the private sector to help us address the high cost of cancer care in the country to make these services more accessible for the majority,” she said, adding that the government looks forward to continuing to work with the private sector to reduce the country’s cancer burden.

“The oncology package, for example, has been beneficial for many cancer patients who would otherwise not have been able to access treatment services due to lack of finances,”  Mwangangi says.

The machine’s launch will give clinicians the ability to offer both conventional treatment for a wide spectrum of tumors and high-precision tailored therapies for the treatment of very complex cancers.

The equipment, according to Dr. Manoj Shah, chairman of MP Shah Hospital, will cure a wide range of cancers, and patients in Nairobi can now take advantage of the service for improved treatment results.

“As an integrated treatment system, it helps solve the increasing problems of modern-day cancer management while offering patients with best-in-class treatment and high-quality clinical care,” he said, as the country’s status as a medical tourism destination climbed yet another level.

Dr. BS Ajaikumar, the Executive Chairman of Healthcare Global Enterprises Limited, and Habib Nehme, the Executive Vice President of Elekta, were also present.

The Elekta Versa HD, according to Nehme, can serve up to 150 patients each day.


Kakamega family demands justice after botched treatment leads to 3-year-old losing five fingers



By Wanja Waweru

A family from Bukhaywa village, Lurambi Constituency, Kakamega county, is calling for justice after their three-year-old son’s right hand was amputated of all the fingers due to improper treatment.

“My son had a burn on his left hand and was in a stable condition when we took him to hospital, but because of the doctor’s negligence, all his right fingers were cut off and he is disabled now,” the victim’s father Mr Zephaniah Likavo said.

Winnie Auma, the mother of the victim, claimed that the nurse was an intern who gave her son an incorrect drug injection. When she witnessed how the son’s body responded, she reported the incident to the doctor, but nothing was done about it.

“My son was crying in pain and the colour of his hand changed. I wondered what was happening and reported to the doctor, but no action was taken. Instead, he said it was normal for such a reaction to happen,” she said

The family claims they received word shortly after that their son’s fingers would need to be amputated in order to stop an infection.

The management of the hospital refuted the accusations, claiming that the family had moved their son to a different facility where his fingers had been severed.

“We treated their son and there was a challenge in finding the vein in the hand, so it affected his fingers and later they wanted a transfer to another hospital for specialised treatment. That’s where they amputated the fingers,” the official said.

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Museveni takes ‘forced leave’ after contracting Covid-19



Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, has taken a “forced leave” after a Covid-19 test resulted in a positive result.

Museveni announced on Thursday that he had handed over control of his responsibilities to Prime Minister Robinah Nabanjja.

He explained that in the previous 53 years, this would be his second “forced leave” as president.

“I have, therefore, got the second forced leave in the last 53 years, ever since 1971, when we started fighting Idi Amin. One other time, was when I had a problem with sinuses and I had to lie low for some days at Mweya,” he said.


“I have therefore, self-isolated at Nakasero and I have delegated my work for today and tomorrow (Heroes’ Day in Luwero) to Prime Minister, Robinah Nabanjja.”

He said that he is in good health and only experiencing mild symptoms.

“However, I always prefer to be on the side of caution and self-isolate for now.”

Museveni claimed to have cold-like symptoms on Wednesday, but one of the three tests he took revealed that he actually had Covid-19.

The President described the events of Wednesday morning in a statement on Thursday, claiming that he had felt some minor flu-like symptoms in his right nostril.

He called his doctors as a result, and they requested three samples—one fast and two PCRs—to check for Covid-19.

“The rapid one was negative and so was one of the PCRs. However, one of the PCRs was positive,” he said.

As a precaution before reconfirmation of his health status, the President, who had to travel to deliver the State of the Nation address at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala, drove in separate cars from his wife.

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How former Health PS Josephine Mburu learnt she was fired



The Sh3.7 billion anti-mosquito net scam at the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KeMSA) has been denied by former health principal secretary Josephine Mburu, who claims she was appointed to her position after the procurement process had already started.

Mburu was testifying before the Senate Health Committee, which is presided over by Senator Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu, to address claims of anomalies in KeMSA’s acquisition of long-lasting insecticidal nets.

The former PS said she was wrongfully terminated and demanded a fair hearing when testifying before the Committee on Tuesday, June 6.

“I was not involved in the process. The process had started and I was told the new government had to continue the process. I believe the staff advised properly,” Mburu explained.

“It was a shocker [to me] when l watched on television. l thank President Ruto for allowing me to serve and l would not challenge the president. But l want the truth to come out whether l had a role to play in this scandal so that Kenyans can judge me.”

Mburu has also made it clear that Medical Services, not Public Health, which she was in charge of, is in charge of overseeing KeMSA activities.

“I cannot discuss the board of KEMSA or its operations because it was not in my ministry. KeMSA is not under me, it was under PS Tum. I have no control over what happened there. KeMSA is under medical services which was headed by former PS Tum who has now been transferred to another ministry,” she said.

Mburu claims that she began her tenure in government when the procurement process was getting started. A few weeks later, a member of her staff informed her of an error in an advertisement that was appearing in the daily newspapers.

She claims that after seeking advice from Ministry specialists, she sent a letter to correct the errors.

“l was not involved in the process when KeMSA put the mosquito net tendering advert in the public domain…that’s when the Head of Malaria program noticed the omissions. My letter to KeMSA concerning the omissions did not stop the tendering process as l was only giving clarity l did not stop it.”

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