By Bedah Mengo
The ministry of health will mobilize resources from multilateral agencies and corporations to strengthen the war against non-communicable diseases (NCDs), officials said.
Cabinet Secretary for Health Cleopha Mailu said additional resources will be channeled towards a national program on combating lifestyle diseases that have spiked against a backdrop of urbanization and changing dietary habits in Kenya.”The non communicable diseases are on the rise and the government will re-organize existing programs to fight them effectively. This year alone, we have earmarked additional funds to equip health facilities with diagnostic kit,” Mailu told reporters in Nairobi.
Kenya is among Sub-Saharan African countries with the highest burden of non-communicable diseases like cancers, diabetes and cardio-vascular ailments. Statistics from the ministry of health indicate that an estimated 40,000 Kenyans are diagnosed with cancer every year while 27,000 of them succumb to the ailment.
Mailu noted that non-communicable diseases are no longer confined to the wealthy population, hence the need to intensify awareness and early diagnoses targeting all demographics. “Timely interventions like regular screening and adoption of healthy lifestyles are key to reduce the burden of cancers and diabetes in the country,” Mailu said, adding that the government will invest in research on the emerging lifestyle diseases in the country.
Mailu said implementation of an ambitious program launched by the government and corporate partners last year to install cancer screening machines in all public hospitals has not encountered any hitches. “Majority of health facilities in the counties have cancer screening and dialysis machines .We have trained adequate personnel to operate these machines,” said Mailu. He disclosed the government will invest in new health facilities and dedicate them to treatment and management of lifestyle diseases.