Women in Nyeri County Benefit from Breast Cancer Screening Campaign

Nyeri Deputy Govornor and Campaign Ambassador Dr Caroline Karugu Delivery Speech During the Mammo Screening Campaign Luanch.

Mammography screening services available for free for women registered for the UHC pilot

Campaign targeting over 10,000 women aged 40 years to 74 years- the recommended age for screening; Screening will be done through mammography- the only screening method that has been shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality; Mammography screening services available for free for women registered for the UHC pilot

The Nyeri County Government, Ministry of Health’s National Cancer Control Program (NCCP) and GE Healthcare (https://www.GEHealthcare.com/) have launched a Mammography screening campaign across Nyeri County to promote early detection of breast cancer. The one-month campaign will target over 10,000 women aged 40 years and above which is the recommended age for mammography screening. Over 50 Community Healthcare Volunteers and 30 healthcare professionals were trained to support the campaign.

The Nyeri County Deputy Governor Dr. Caroline Karugu said, “Breast cancer is a cancer that affects the breasts, mostly in women and it can also affect men though it is rare.  In 2018, breast cancer was the most common cancer treated at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital. Out of the 10 cases of cancer reported at Nyeri County referral hospital, 7 cases are breast cancer cases. Even with this occurrence, only two mammogram exams were done per day around the same period indicating underutilization of the digital mammography machine available at the hospital. This campaign seeks to challenge women to do their Mammo screening which saves lives.”

GE Medina Mutisya Training Nyeri Healthcare Workers on Mammography Screening in Preparation to the one month campaign.

Dr. Karugu will be the ambassador for the campaign promoting mammography screening in the fight against breast cancer. Leading by example, Dr. Karugu got her first mammogram exam at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital during the launch of the campaign, together with other attending the event as a way of motivating more women to participate in the screening.

As a trusted partner to healthcare providers globally, we are excited to partner with NCCP and Nyeri County to provide the women of Nyeri County access to world-class mammography solutions that have positive impact on early breast cancer detection. GE Healthcare is committed to developing solutions for women that encourage adherence to screening guidelines and improve outcomes for breast cancer screening.” said Brenda Mbathi, CEO GE East Africa.

GE Healthcare’s Senographe Crystal digital mammography machine will be used for the screening at the Nyeri County Referral Hospital. The system delivers excellent image quality facilitating early detection while ensuring a positive patient experience.

Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2022 is one of the government’s Big Four priority agenda aimed at ensuring that no Kenyan undergoes financial hardship while seeking health care. The government has ensured access to digital mammography services across the 47 public hospitals across the country for women in places that need it the most. Decentralization of these services and the UHC pilots have seen a dramatic direct and indirect cost saving to patients seeking breast cancer screening services.

According to GLOBOCAN 2018, breast cancer is the leading cancer in incidence in Kenya with almost 6,000 new cases, accounting for over 2,500 deaths and making it the 3rd leading cause of all cancer deaths in the country.  Additionally, seven women die every day in Kenya as a result of breast cancer.  The campaign is geared towards cultivating a culture for screening amongst women. Mammography is the only screening method that has been shown to be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality.