Diagnosed with cancer can cause you sleepless nights. Apart from the deadly famous HIV/AIDS, Cancer has overthrown and overtaken it and took its place.

Through his conference, the Machakos Governor has today delivered to the people of Machakos and Kenya at large by opening up a free Cancer screening and treatment center at the Level 5 Hospital in Machakos. Following is the speech that he has delivered:-

FROM TODAY MACHAKOS PROVIDES FREE CANCER DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

HISTORY IS MADE IN MACHAKOS

Today, Lillian and I are extremely happy to at last open the Machakos Cancer Care and Research Centre, which is the first of its kind by a County Government in Kenya.

Cancer is a disease that does not discriminate on age, gender, place of birth or career. However, it’s management and treatment has favored the rich in Kenya.

With the opening of this Centre, residents of Machakos County, registered in the Universal Health Care Program will receive quality screening, diagnosis, counseling and chemotherapy treatment, and management FREE OF CHARGE. Others from the SEKEB region will receive special rates and all citizens from the entire country will pay a subsidized price – the cheapest in Kenya.

CANCER TREATMENT FOR ALL, NOT JUST FOR THE RICH

We want to ensure that cancer treatment is for all of us not just a few.

Matibabu ya ugonjwa wa Saratani/Cancer sio ya matajiri peke yao. Kila mkaaji wa Machakos, hata awe hana viatu kwa sababu ya upweke, atapata matibabu sambamba na yule tajiri mwenye nyumba na magari chungu zima.

Sote tuliumbwa na Mwenyezi Mungu na mimi Alfred Nganga Mutua na Serikali yangu ya Machakos tumejitolea kuhakikisha Mwananchi amepata matibabu ya kufaa. Hii ndio kazi Mwenyezi Mungu ametupatia.

I wish to commend our Machakos First Lady Lillian who has been to basically every corner of Machakos County in the last six years, running cancer screening sessions. However, after all these sessions, she would come home slightly sad. Sad not just because the sessions identified people with cancer but because that was just it – identification.

Today she is very happy because we can do more than just find out whether one has cancer – we can treat and manage the disease and also do it for free for thousands of our people who will no longer have to choose between food and cancer medicines.

Let me reveal that last night she found it hard to sleep due to the excitement of today’s launch. Now, the people she loves so much can be given a new lease of life. We can do more than the screen, pray and wish them well. We can now treat and manage the disease.

It is quite heartbreaking when you know people die just because they are poor and lack affordable health care.

For example, one evening, Lillian and I were touring Machakos Level 5’s emergency area. We found a woman with an enlarged and darkened breast area. She had thought it was just an injury or muscle swelling problem. She got referred to Kenyatta Hospital where it was established she had cancer but had been too poor and too removed from medical care to be diagnosed and treated. She died two weeks later.

This Machakos Cancer Centre is for women like her and many other patients who can start treatment at stage one and live for many many years.

MACHAKOS CENTRE FUNDED BY COUNTY GOVERNMENT

This Machakos Cancer Care and Research Centre have been set-up with equipment purchased by my Government. Lillian has also sourced equipment from friends and well-wishers including from Dr. Ng’ang’ an of the Kenya Cancer Association.

This is a Machakos Government project, fully funded by my Government and is not funded by the National Government. It has cost us over 40 million shillings to set up what we have today.

This Centre can undertake the highest quality of diagnosis and provide chemotherapy treatment and advanced surgery.

Next year, we will include the purchase of a 300 million Kenya shillings radiotherapy machine in our budget. Our strategy is to have several diagnostic and treatment centers spread all over Machakos County within the next three years.

We plan to partner with hospitals and institutions of higher learning and research so that we can have experts working here from all over the world. We will also utilize TELEMEDICINE for consultations between our doctors and experts in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, and our African continent.

For our research component, we welcome partnerships for drug trials and new ways of management of cancer. If you have an idea, however crazy, come to us and we will listen and evaluate. The key is to find ways of helping our people.

We invite cancer organizations, development partners, national government, individuals and experts to support us acquire more equipment and improvement of our skills. Today is just the beginning.

HEALTHCARE A PERSONAL PRIORITY

Healthcare has been one of my top priorities. More than a third (32.5%) of our Machakos Government’s current budget is allocated to health care.

I am proud of the fact that Machakos has the most comprehensive health care system in Kenya which I also believe is the best. Since I became Governor in 2013, there is no sharing of hospital beds in Machakos County and no one ever sleeps on the floor. Our health facilities have been renovated and expanded and quality standards set up. Even our mothers at this hospital shower with hot water.

Our 80 ambulances, found in every administrative location, have saved lives. In Machakos County, you are assured of an ambulance to provide you or your loved one first aid even as you are taken to a health facility, day or night.

So far 572,697 patients have been ferried by our Machakos ambulances, including 256,762 mothers in Labour. The ambulances have also become delivery rooms because as of this morning, 52,012 babies have born in the ambulances on the way to the hospital.

We are glad that in the continent of Africa, Machakos is second to the Republic of South Africa, in emergency response time. For example, when called to respond to a traffic accident, a Machakos ambulance usually arrives in less than eight (8) minutes.

Our hospitals have been ranked the cleanest and most organized government health facilities in Kenya and we have medicines and other supplies available. We have increased the number of health workers and are still hiring more. It is all about providing quality and available health care.

MESSAGE FOR PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA

I highly commend President Uhuru Kenyatta for his passion for health care. He came to Machakos when we were the first County to take possession and use of new equipment.m and he has been consistent in matters of health care.

His plans for universal health care should be lauded by all. Mr. President, I know there are many discussions on how to fund universal health care and whether it is possible to provide international quality health care from the home to high tech hospitals.

I am aware it has been made to look complex and there are many interests. However, I remember how President Mwai Kibaki announced one day that there would be Free Primary education and a few days later it was somehow affordable.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, Machakos is a good example that Universal Health Care can work and can be affordable. It is all about political will – the rest are details. After all, si we are now an oil-producing country?

Rais Uhuru Kenyatta, usizungushwe na kuambiwa sijui NSSF, sijua Capitation, sijui 20 % hii au hio. Sisi kama nchi ya Kenya tunaweza Kuwa na mfumo wa matibabu kwa Wote bila malipo. Hizo zingine ni stories za muhimu lakini uamuzi ni wetu viongozi.

Rais Uhuru Kenyatta, tuungane pamoja – Wewe anzisha mpango wa matibabu bila malipo kwa wote, na hapo 2022, kwa uwezo wa Mwenyezi Mungu, nitauendeleza nikiwa Rais wa Tano wa Nchi ya Kenya. Tumeamua wakati wa mabadilko Kenya unewadia na mimi nituongoza ndio Wote wapate haki Yao.

President Uhuru, I will work with you to ensure that we provide every Kenyan, regardless of where they were born, access to free and quality healthcare. As we say in Maendeleo Chap Chap, Inawezekana na Itawezekana.

Finally, I wish to congratulate my staff, from those of the ministry of health to all departments for the work they have done. Special recognition to Waziri Ancient and your Chief Officers for the splendid work. I am lucky that Machakos has outstanding health practitioners and we work as a team.

I also recognize the amazing and incredibly dedicated members of the Machakos County Assembly led by their very able Speaker Hon. Florence Mwangangi for supporting this initiative. Truly, great things happen when leaders work together. Na mambo bado.

It is now my pleasure to declare the Machakos Cancer Care and Research Centre officially opened.

God bless you, God bless Machakos and God bless Kenya

Dr. Alfred N. Mutua, E.G.H
Governor of Machakos & Party Leader of Maendeleo Chap Chap Party

Thursday, August 29, 2019

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