Ministry of Health partners with Johnson & Johnson to accelerate National Cancer Control Strategy dissemination efforts

Kisumu 20/02…The Ministry of Health has stepped up ongoing efforts to raise awareness on the National Cancer Control Strategy 2017-2022.

Through a series of regional workshops targeting county health management teams, the Ministry of Health is undertaking consultative training initiatives in various parts of the country, to sensitise county stakeholders to spur activity aimed at implementing the interventions captured in the National Cancer Control Strategy 2017-2022.

The National Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS) 2017-2022, is a framework geared at reducing cancer incidences, morbidity, mortality, while increasing survival rates in Kenya through access to population based primary prevention, early detection, quality diagnostics, treatment and palliative care services by the year 2022.

Speaking in Kisumu at a Regional Dissemination workshop for Lake Basin Counties, the Deputy Governor of Kisumu county Dr. Mathew Owili, who was accompanied by the first lady Mrs. Dorothy Nyongo reiterated their commitment to establish a regional cancer centre with the support of partners that will ensure the residents of the Lake Basin region have access to the much needed cancer treatment and follow up services.

Speaking at the same meeting, the Head of the National Cancer Control Program at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Anne Ng’ang’a said the Ministry is rolling out the National Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS) 2017-2022 dissemination workshops countrywide to sensitize county teams and to seek their partnership in halting and reversing the cancer burden in Kenya.

While thanking Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and a specialist oncology pharmaceutical solutions provider for their support, Dr. Ng’ang’a said this support will complement ongoing governmental efforts to raise further awareness on the strategy countrywide.

As part of the partnership, Janssen, a member of the Kenya Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (KAPI) will support dissemination workshops organized by the Ministry of Health for county health management teams; to sensitize them on the new strategy.

Johnson & Johnson, East Africa Government Affairs and Policy Director, Ms. Idah Asin pledged the firm’s support for awareness building initiatives geared at facilitating a speedy adoption of the strategy by various stakeholders.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals is part of Johnson & Johnson PLC which is the biggest diversified healthcare company in the world. The company envisions a world where cancer is a preventable, chronic or curable disease and is focused on developing solutions that prolong and improve patient lives to get there.

“We are supporting the Ministry of Health on this initiative because cancer is one of our priority therapy areas and dissemination of guidelines is always the execution step needed to bring the best practice sharing to life. We want to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of oncology practice so that patients can live better lives and achieve best outcomes,’’ said Ms. Asin.

To ensure a coordinated response to cancer control in Kenya, the National Cancer Control Strategy (NCCS) 2017-2022 was developed to act as a framework to guide all stakeholders supporting cancer control in Kenya.

The strategy addresses the whole cancer ecosystem from prevention to survivorship and has 5 pillars namely: Prevention, Early Detection and Screening, Diagnosis, Registration and Surveillance, Treatment, Palliative Care and Survivorship, Coordination, Partnership and Financing and Monitoring, Evaluation and Research.

Cancer is one of the major non-communicable diseases in Kenya and ranks third as a cause of death after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. It is estimated that there are 40,000 new cases annually and approximately 28,000 cancer related deaths every year. More than 70% of cancer cases are diagnosed at late stage when treatment outcomes are poor and palliative care is usually the only management amenable.