AstraZeneca’s donations aim to address the current scenario where a staggering 80% of prostate cancer patients in Kenya are diagnosed with advanced disease stages and aggressive tumours
In a significant boost to prostate cancer diagnosis in Kenya, AstraZeneca (www.AstraZeneca.com) announced the donation of a cutting-edge ultrasound biopsy machine to Kenyatta National Hospital. This agreement is part of AstraZeneca’s larger initiative to equip seven Centres of Excellence in hospitals across Kenya with similar state-of-the-art diagnostic tools in partnership with The National Cancer Institute of Kenya (NCI Kenya) and the Kenya Association of Urological Surgeons (KAUS).
AstraZeneca’s donations aim to address the current scenario where a staggering 80% of prostate cancer patients in Kenya are diagnosed with advanced disease stages (https://apo-opa.info/3MufR7Y) and aggressive tumours. By boosting equitable access to state-of-the-art technology that can provide early and accurate detection, the donation is expected to enhance survival rates among prostate cancer patients significantly.
This initiative, inaugurated at Kenyatta National Hospital, is the cornerstone of AstraZeneca’s Cancer Care Africa programme in Kenya. Launched in November 2022, Cancer Care Africa aspires to improve outcomes for every individual affected by cancer in Kenya and across the continent, irrespective of their socio-economic or geographic background. Additionally, it emphasises health equity through the adoption of trailblazing health technologies that make cancer screening more widely accessible, even in the most remote and underserved communities.
Pelin Incesu, Area Vice President, Middle East and Africa, AstraZeneca, said, “AstraZeneca is deeply committed to bolstering healthcare systems in Africa, supporting them to become more resilient and sustainable. Our partnership with the National Cancer Institute of Kenya and KAUS to address prostate cancer symbolises our dedication to fighting the growing burden of cancer in Kenya. By improving equitable access to technology that enables early diagnosis, we aim to enhance patient outcomes and, in the process, transform cancer care on the continent.”
Dr Elias Melly, CEO, National Cancer Institute of Kenya, said, “This exciting new partnership transcends the immediate benefits to patients. By enhancing the ability of our healthcare system to fight the growing challenge of cancer, we are empowering communities to seek better cancer care and ultimately experience better outcomes. It’s a transformative step towards a healthier tomorrow.”
Dr Evanson Kamuri, CEO, Kenyatta National Hospital, said, “The introduction of this ultrasound biopsy machine represents a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to enhance prostate cancer diagnosis. Early detection is crucial in improving treatment outcomes for patients. With this advanced equipment, we aim to reduce the number of late-stage diagnoses and provide more effective treatments to those under our care.”
The seven hospitals across Kenya to be equipped with an ultrasound biopsy machine by the end of the year include Kenyatta National Hospital (Nairobi), Moi University Teaching & Referral Hospital (Eldoret), Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral & Research Hospital (Nairobi), Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching & Referral Hospital (Kisumu), Coast General Teaching & Referral Hospital (Mombasa), Meru Teaching and Referral Hospital (Meru), and Kakamega County General Teaching and Referral Hospital (Kakamega).
Once the ultrasound biopsy machine is in place, the initiative will also equip Kenyatta National Hospital with 3-4 reusable biopsy guns and 10,000 specialist kits that help diagnose prostate cancer through a blood test. These tools all aid the detection of prostate cancer, helping to improve the patient journey as well as outcomes.
As part of the partnership, NCI Kenya and KAUS will also set the benchmark for prostate cancer practice and standards across counties, ensuring each of the seven hospital centres excel in clinical care, research innovation, and capacity building.