EACC | Cancer Treatment Facility to be Set up in Kenya Through Avistas Planning and The Texas Center for Proton Therapy Support

Posted March 29, 2018 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Health Watch ~ 3,415 views


Cancer treatment facility finally to be constructed in Kenya courtesy of Kericho county Governor, Texas center for Proton Therapy, Council of Governors of Kenya, Avistas, and East Africa Chamber of Commerce.(EACC)
INTERVIEW: The East Africa Chamber of Commerce Hosts H.E. Prof. Paul Kiprono Chepkwony, Governor of Kericho County, Kenya and Coordinates Deal for Life-Saving Facility

IRVING, Texas—Mar. 18, 2018—The East Africa Chamber of Commerce hosted the Council of Governors on Sunday, March 18, 2018. In this meeting the EACC was able to create connections between the Texas Center for Proton Therapy, Avistas, and Kericho County, Kenya. H.E. Prof. Paul Kiprono Chepkwony, the governor of Kericho County was moved by the possibilities to build a life-saving facility not only for Kericho County and Kenya, but also for East Africa. As the sole host for the governor, the EACC made a cross-border connection that would have been nearly impossible without their foresight to present the idea to the Council of Governors. The meeting led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will advance further collaborations for exploring the possibilities of developing a similar life-saving facility in Kenya with training in Irving, Texas. The EACC wants every official they host to succeed, and they look to the future for more exposure in East Africa to create positive change in the region. Governor Chepkwony explains his excitement to have a cancer management center in the interview below.

East Africa Chamber of Commerce: First, explain your immediate reaction or response to the plans for a Proton Therapy center in Kericho County? What did you feel—in one word?

Governor Chepkwony: Thrilling!

Great excitement was my immediate response to the thought of establishing the first-ever Proton Therapy Center in Kericho and the country at large. This technology has not been used in Kenya before, and therefore, to say I was overjoyed would be an understatement. This is fantastic, and definitely a game-changer in the management of cancer in our country.

EACC: In the Kericho County Manifesto, you outline goals for 10 sectors. The first goal under Health Services focuses on preventive health services. In what ways do you believe the new Proton Therapy Center will help fulfill this goal?

GC: The overall goal of preventive health services is not only to avert the development and progression of major illnesses but also to fast track access to treatment at an early stage of the disease. 

EACC: In line with the previous question, in what ways do you hope that the Proton Therapy Center will aid those who have already been diagnosed with cancer?

GC: This will help alleviate, tremendously, the burden of cancer treatment which is still a preserve of few. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the mainstay of treatment in Kenya. However, the two are only available in 2 major public hospitals (Kenyatta National Hospital & Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital) which are far from Kericho. All referrals for radiotherapy in the country end up in one radiotherapy center (KNH) with a consequent ripple effect of massive congestion, delays, and frequent breakdown of the radiotherapy equipment. Therefore, the plan to have a Proton Therapy Center in Kericho is very important to us and the country at large.

EACC: How might this new Proton Therapy Center advance other objectives listed within the manifesto in other sectors?

GC: A healthy population translates to a stronger economy which cuts across all the other sectors.

EACC: To your knowledge, how are people with cancer in Kericho County handling the need for treatment if they cannot make the commute to the nearest proton therapy facility (the nearest three: South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Italy)?

GC: All the more reason why establishing this center in Kericho County will be a big-time game changer in cancer treatment. Many people are perishing because of unavailability of treatment options like proton therapy and cost barrier to the ones available (chemotherapy, surgical interventions and radiotherapy). Some people resort to alternative therapies such as use of traditional herbal medicines, traditional incisions etc.

EACC: What does the general population in Kericho County understand about proton therapy as a mode of cancer treatment? Are they asking for this kind of treatment?

GC: Patients are desperately in need of this treatment since the available options are highly limited and the supply side of it cannot meet the demand. The patients here would really welcome this treatment option. 

EACC: What impact do you anticipate this Proton Therapy Center will have not only on Kericho County and Kenya but also on the east African region?

GC: Reduced cost for access to treatment, improved quality of life and increased life expectancy. This enables the patient to resume income generating activities thus resulting in economic empowerment at both the individual level and household level.

Avistas Founder and CEO, Mr. Bill Morgan stated:

“This is the culmination of a three-plus year journey, in partnership with EACC to evangelize such a facility for East Africa.  We have challenged the EAC leadership to dare to dream big and commit to moving from vision to reality for such a facility in the region.  Governor Chepkwony is the first to step up to meet this challenge and we are elated to have the opportunity to assist Kericho County with navigating through all the steps to translate this dream to a production reality, bringing hope to all of Africa.”


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

One Comment

    Joseph Chepkwony

    A very much welcome move by our able Governor.

Leave a Response