how many oncologists are there in Kenya ? The number of cancer patients who have been leaving the country for treatment overseas, especially India, has risen sharply due to a lack of specialised medics locally.
Official data shows that there are only 12 oncology specialists in Kenya, a situation that piles pressure on desperate patients to seek medical attention elsewhere.
Aga Khan University Hospital also launched a new oncology nurse training programme in 2016 to cater for demand
The diploma in oncology nursing offered at the Aga Khan University Hospital is the first in the region. The programme is a public-private partnership between the hospital, Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Canada.
Ms Tayreez Mushani, an assistant professor at the Aga Khan University Hospital, says the course was started due to the increasing cancer cases in the region and is based on international standards from the Canadian Association of Nurses in oncology.
Training at the Aga Khan University Hospital School of Nursing is a 18-month work-study programme with classes twice a week while at the course at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital is a one year weekly programme.
Currently there are 16 students training in Nairobi and 10 students in the Eldoret campus with the entry criteria being eligible nurses who have practised for two years.