NAIROBI, Nov. 17 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's Ministry of Health and international research partners on Thursday launched a hub for advancing cancer registration in the Sub-Saharan African region through leveraging training and innovative financing.
The facility to be domiciled at Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) will act as a nerve center for collaborative research that aims to promote collation and dissemination of data on cancer burden in the continent.
Patrick Amoth, the Acting Director-General in the Ministry of Health, said the launch of the center to build the capacity of African nations to revamp cancer registration will strengthen the war against the non-communicable disease.
"The center will provide crucial data on cancer incidences, mortality and survival rates besides enhancing surveillance, treatment and long-term management of the disease," Amoth said during the launch in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.
Kenya is among three African countries including South Africa and Cote d'Ivoire that have been designated for establishment of collaborating centers for the WHO-affiliated International Agency for Research on Cancer as part of continental efforts to revitalize the war against non-communicable diseases.
Through partnership with Africa Cancer Registries Network and the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry, the east African nation hopes to become a continental hub in collecting data for the killer disease.
Statistics from Kenya's Ministry of Health indicate that 42,000 cancer cases were recorded in the country in 2020, with the figures set to double by 2040 amid rapid urbanization, sedentary lifestyle and high consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
Ann Gitungo, an officer at the National Cancer Control Program in the Ministry of Health said that access to real-time data on the cancer burden in the country will help inform policy and financing interventions.
Gitungo said the government had prioritized bridging funding, personnel and technological gaps to boost the creation of a population-based cancer registry as part of response to the disease.
Sharon Kapambwe, the Technical Officer for Cancer at WHO Africa region, said that reliable data is key to informing investments in cancer diagnosis and treatment. ■