The cancer machine remains unfixed in Kakamega County Referral Hospital, posing a danger to cancer patients. Kakamega Referral Hospital is the only public hospital in Kakamega County that has a cancer machine.
This cancer machine was donated by the National Government and annually costs sh 300,000 for maintenance. Mr Savula who comes from Nairobi, is the one in charge of repairing the machine. He claims that this time, it might take longer for the machine to be fixed.
The cost of fixing it is said to be too expensive for the county. This comes at a time when the devolved units are struggling financially. It also follows the delayed disbursement of funds by the National treasury.
According to recommendations from the World Health Organization, an oncologist-to-patient ratio should be at 1:1,000. Here in Kenya however, the ratio lies at 1:6,833 due to the shortage of care professionals. Kenya is currently in pursuit to increase the number of oncologists and oncology nurses. The National Cancer Institute of Kenya terms the fixing of the machine as a matter of urgency.
The Kakamega County Referral Hospital, aside from the broken cancer machine that aids in treatment, owns a Histology machine. The machine cost eight million to purchase and is used to diagnose cancer. The County has proposed to invest in cancer care and ensure quality treatment. Consequently, the rate of people seeking treatment outside the country will decrease.
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In response to the broken machine, the patients face repercussions. They can no longer receive treatments within the county and now seek assistance in nearby hospitals.
According to the Deputy Governor, Ayub Savula, there has been an increase in cancer cases. They would therefore need concerted efforts from both the national and county government to fix this machine as fast as possible.