Healthcare care provider Roche signs MoU with Kilele Health Association to drive cervical cancer prevention awareness campaign

Judy Ndunge News & Updates February 3, 2024

Roche, a global leader in healthcare, and Kilele Health Association, a non-profit organisation – amongst other private sector companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on a campaign to drive awareness and advocacy on cervical cancer prevention.

The signing was on February 1st, 2024 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Upperhill Nairobi. The two joined forces to prioritize community advocacy and contribute to the government’s cancer elimination goal by reaching 4 million women and girls by 2027.

“Cancer burden in Kenya is increasing. The recent WHO global cancer observatory data of 2020 shows we have 42,000 new cases every year. The risk of dying of cancer for a woman is higher and so is contacting cancer,” said Angela Mule, a patient journey partner at Pharma Diagnostic.

The collaboration would therefore encompass a multifaceted initiative, which will include awareness campaigns, policy engagement for sustainable funding, community outreach and nationwide vaccination and screening activations.

“Many women go undiagnosed and under that ambition, we want to have 90% of women with breast cancer diagnosed and that 60% of them are diagnosed at their early stage. Another ambition is that 80% of patients receive appropriate treatment for their disease and this is what they call standard of care,” explains Angela.

Roche Director of Strategy and Innovation, Jonathan Keytel

Roche and Pharma Diagnostics have been striving to bring in the public sector and the government to ensure they put policies in place and programmes that support the patients on the ground. The ministry of health and the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) are already in a partnership that looks at how to help especially cancer patients with their specific treatments.

“Key investment we need to focus on as Africa nations is education and health in order to properly raise the over 1.4 billion young population of Africa to be independent. But sadly, those are two areas where we are not prioritizing as much or balancing correctly. We hope our government will pay attention in what we need to prioritize in matters health,” said Dr. Allan Pamba , EVP, Africa Roche . With referral process proving to be hectic to the cancer patients  late diagnosis tends to be the order of the day.

“When we think of healthcare system we mostly think of just the patients but actually the way of thinking should be about the system that delivers health care services. This system involves a lot of things. We need to build sustainable systems that will develop and improve over time to ease the burdens of patients seeking treatment,” said Jonathan Keytel – Director of Strategy and Innovation Lead Roche.

Benda Kithaka Executive Director, Kilele Health Association explained that cancer for a better part hurts the community despite having good policies and global calls to action.

“The approach should instead look at what the media can do to highlight the stories of women who are surviving, those who have died and children left so that we can spear head a message of detection, prevention and action. We need to look at survivors as sources of information but also people who can be trained to integrate into the health system so that they bring the story to the table and nobody can ignore that,” said Kithaka.

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