Cancer Survivors Support Group Launched In Nandi

Nandi County Government has launched a cancer survivors support group where residents will be sharing their personal experiences.

Over 128 survivors who converged at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital during the launch of the program said the support group will serve as a welcoming space for cancer patients and survivors in the county, enabling them to engage in a close-knit community engagement.

The group will also be a platform that will provide patients and survivors with the opportunity to get moral support from people who are actually going through the same situation, or people who have great knowledge and experience in providing emotional and psychological support.

‘This group aims at instilling persistence and hope in breast cancer patients, while providing them with all types of assistance needed,’ said Stella Birgenfrom Barton a breast cancer survivor.

Birgen began her treatment at Kapsabet Referral Hospital in 2021, undergoing eight cycles of chemotherapy. She said the support she received from h
ealthcare professionals and loved ones have been crucial in her fight against cancer.

According to her, cancer patients experience lack of attention, slow processing speed, memory dysfunctions, loneliness, anxiety and distress among other things which have a negative effect on the quality of life.

As a cancer survivor, Birgen has encouraged everyone to prioritize cancer screening, emphasizing that it can affect anyone regardless of age. Her own experience with breast cancer has shown her the importance of getting screened regularly, early detection and prompt treatment.

Jane Chepkoech, a resident of Kabutei and a cervical cancer survivor called on the County Government to provide financial support for cancer patients.

She highlighted the financial burden of treatment, stressing that it is costly and often difficult for patients to afford.

Speaking at the same event, Nandi Deputy Governor Dr Yulita Mitei said, ‘As a County Government, we are committed to enhancing access to cancer screenings and treatment
s for our residents. While we strive to bring these services closer, we also encourage our residents to utilize the oncology center at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital for comprehensive care and specialized treatment options’.

She went on ‘Together, we celebrate life, inspire hope, and reaffirm that no one has to face cancer alone.’

Nandi County Executive Committee Member for Health (CECM) Ruth Koech asserted that cancer diagnosis and treatment is an overwhelming process for the patients and their loved ones adding that the treatment of cancer is a journey right from the diagnosis to treatment and even after survival.

‘This cancer support group is extremely helpful for patients to get motivated and inspired every step of the way. We aim to combat cancer jointly by encouraging the patient and their families, and friends to be courageous and positive during the treatment process. At Kapsabet Oncology, we are committed to offering best clinical expertise, and service excellence for our patients in the County
,’ she said.

Koech said this is a platform that not only provides a safe space for survivors to share their experiences but also promotes a sense of belonging and solidarity. By offering emotional support, practical advice, and a network of understanding peers, the support group empowers survivors to navigate challenges with resilience and optimism.

‘When we first set up the cancer center in Kapsabet, we noticed many patients who came to us were already in advanced stages of cancer, often stages 3 and 4. This showed the treatment process that people were not getting diagnosed early enough or seeking treatment early. It’s a reminder of the importance of awareness and early detection in fighting cancer effectively. Our goal now is to improve access to screening and education,’ she said.

The CECM emphasized the importance of women in the community taking proactive steps against breast cancer, adding that it is leading in all types of cancer in the County.

Source: Kenya News Agency

WHO Provides Burkina Faso with 194 Million FCFA in Medical Equipment to Combat Dengue

OUAGADOUGOU — In a significant boost to Burkina Faso’s healthcare capabilities, the World Health Organization (WHO) has donated medical equipment and supplies valued at over 194 million FCFA to the Ministry of Health. This donation is aimed at enhancing the country’s ability to diagnose and treat dengue fever, especially as the rainy season begins, which increases the risk of outbreaks.

According to Burkina Information Agency, the WHO Resident Representative in Burkina, the donation includes dengue diagnostic equipment, biomedical and laboratory devices, and medications totaling 194,158,574 CFA francs. This equipment will enable health facilities, particularly those without their own laboratories, to perform dengue screenings. Furthermore, the biomedical equipment will aid in the blood diagnosis of dengue in larger lab settings.

The collaboration between the Ministry of Health and WHO is designed to prepare for and respond to potential dengue epidemics, heightened by the onset of the rainy season. The urgency of this support is underscored by the 2023 dengue outbreak in Burkina Faso, which led to numerous fatalities due to late diagnosis and insufficient healthcare infrastructure.

Dr. Issa Ouédraogo, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Health, highlighted that the new equipment will significantly improve the operational capacity of the Ministry in managing and treating dengue, addressing the challenges faced during last year’s epidemic.

Mass Malaria Vaccination Campaign to Begin in Sissili for Young Children

SISSILI — A major health initiative is set to commence in the Léo health district, Sissili, where 12,285 children aged five months will receive their first dose of the malaria vaccine from June 28 to July 1, 2024. The campaign is part of a broader effort to combat the persistent public health challenge posed by malaria.

According to Burkina Information Agency, head of the expanded vaccination program in the Léo health district, malaria continues to be the leading cause of medical consultations and hospitalizations within the region. This vaccination drive aims to significantly reduce the incidence of severe malaria among young children, who are particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Dr. Aboubacary Abdou, the chief physician of the Léo health district, emphasized that the initial phase of the RTS,S malaria vaccination will target children at the age of five months. To ensure adequate protection, each child is required to complete a series of four doses of the vaccine, with a minimum interval of four weeks between each dose.

The campaign was kickstarted with an advocacy workshop on June 23, 2024, involving local authorities and influential community leaders to garner support for the vaccination efforts. The workshop featured presentations on the benefits of the malaria vaccine and the importance of seasonal malaria chemoprevention, which Dr. Abdou claimed could reduce malaria cases and related deaths by up to 75%.

The High Commissioner of Sissili, Tewindé Isaac Sia, called for widespread community engagement and urged parents to adhere strictly to the vaccination schedule to ensure the campaign’s success.

National Sports Week Kicks Off in Fada N’Gourma with Emphasis on Inclusivity and Health

FADA N’GOURMA — The Eastern region’s Governor, Ram Joseph Kafando, inaugurated the National Sports for All Week on Thursday, June 20, 2024, starting with a popular race that involved both the Defense and Security Forces (FDS) and local residents.

According to Burkina Information Agency, this initiative, running from June 18 to 24, was inspired by the President of the Transition’s vision to make sports and leisure activities universally accessible across Burkina Faso. The governor emphasized that sports not only foster economic growth and social cohesion but also enhance health and help build resilience against terrorism.

Governor Kafando highlighted the risks of inactivity, noting diseases such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes as potential consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. He encouraged the populace to engage in regular physical activity to improve both physical and mental health and to strengthen national cohesion, ultimately boosting the national economy.

Yacouba Tchiombiano, the director of the National Institute for Training of Education Personnel in the East, shared insights on the benefits of routine sports, advocating for daily participation as a means to release toxins and relieve stress. Additionally, Issiaka Togugyéni, the director of municipal police in Fada N’Gourma, expressed hopes for the continuous promotion of sports activities by the authorities, citing their significant health benefits.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Focuses on Boosting Ethiopia’s Domestic Medical Production

ADDIS ABABA — Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has emphasized the Ethiopian government’s commitment to enhancing the domestic production of medical supplies and medicines. During the inauguration of the Domestic Medical Supplies Production and Innovation Exhibition at Millennium Hall in Addis Ababa, he discussed significant strides made towards reducing dependency on imported medicines.

According to Ethiopian News Agency, recent policy reforms have been instrumental in increasing the domestic production of medical supplies and medicines. From a previous capability of producing only 8 percent of its medicines locally, Ethiopia has raised this figure to 36 percent. The Prime Minister noted the dual focus on improving accessibility to domestically produced pharmaceuticals and expanding export capabilities.

The government’s push towards self-sufficiency in medicine production is deemed crucial for a country with a population over 120 million. Ethiopia now not only meets a larger portion of its medicinal needs but also exports to other countries, highlighting a significant turnaround in its healthcare sector capabilities. The Prime Minister also pointed out that the sector presents an investment opportunity with a market potential exceeding 1 billion USD, encouraging both domestic and foreign investment in pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The exhibition, running under the theme “Our Health by Our Products,” features over 110 manufacturers and aims to showcase local capabilities and foster investment in the healthcare sector. It includes networking opportunities for investors, panel discussions, and showcases of domestic medical products and services.

PM Abiy’s address also covered broader healthcare initiatives, including the expansion of hospitals and the training of more healthcare professionals. He highlighted the upcoming Green Legacy Initiative, which will focus on planting medicinal plants, and underscored the integration of Ethiopia’s traditional medicine practices with scientific approaches. The government is also enhancing preventive healthcare through the “Clean Ethiopia” initiative, aimed at improving hygiene and cleanliness to prevent diseases.

The exhibition will continue until next Friday, inviting all stakeholders to explore and engage with Ethiopia’s burgeoning medical supplies industry.