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Cancer treatment time set to shorten after launch of machine

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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.

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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.

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