KENYA – As a center of excellence in cancer care, Kenyatta University Hospital (KUTRRH), a Kenyan National Referral Hospital with a 650-bed capacity equipped with state-of-art medical amenities, has attained yet another milestone by the launching of the brachytherapy treatment for cancer patients.
Brachytherapy, also known as internal radiation, is a form of radiotherapy treatment where the source of radiation is placed on or inside the diseased area.
KUTRRH has installed one of the latest model equipment funded by the Central Government through the Ministry of Health (MOH) as part of the President’s Big Four Agenda to provide Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
This is the second huge investment the Ministry of Health has put up in the prestigious hospital this month after the ministry delivered a 20,000-liter oxygen tank on 15th September, with funding from World Bank, in a boost to the Hospital’s front-line role in the fight against COVID 19.
Brachytherapy treatment is often given in two or three doses using an iridium -192 source (or sometimes cobalt) depending on multiple factors.
KUTRRH will offer 3 Dimension planning Brachytherapy treatment that will ensure better targeting of the cancer cells with minimal side effects. KUTRRH also intends to introduce ultrasound-guided applicator insertions.
The cost of Brachytherapy treatment is covered by NHIF subject to approval. NHIF coverage will increase access to ordinary Kenyans who may not afford the service in private hospitals.
These treatments’ accessibility will also reduce the need for patients to travel abroad which often adds further costs.
It is estimated that more than 90% of cancer patients in low-income countries lack access to radiotherapy services.
Brachytherapy at KUTRRH will therefore support the Ministry of Health’s goal of expansion of radiotherapy services within the Country.
Brachytherapy at KUTRRH is a great achievement in the management of cancer as it increases the chances of cure as well as survival for cancer patients.
In addition to offering higher-quality treatment at an affordable cost, the introduction of brachytherapy treatment will also significantly reduce the current waiting time in public hospitals by four to five months.
Referring patient to other hospitals often fragments and affects the continuity of caregiving brachytherapy at KUTRRH will offer access to all radiotherapy services in one public hospital.