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Kenyan varsity inks deal with Chinese firm to build cancer institute

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-09-18 00:56

NAIROBI - The University of Nairobi (UoN), one of Kenya's top universities, on Monday signed an agreement with Guangzhou Cherami China-Africa Investment Management to construct and operationalize a cancer institute in Nairobi.

The proposed University of Nairobi-Cherami Cancer Institute (UNCCI) is envisioned to be the premier cancer diagnosis, treatment and referral centre in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA).

"This center is expected to be a Center of Excellence in medical research in Kenya and the region," Amina Mohamed, the Cabinet Secretary for Education said in Nairobi.

Mohamed noted that once it becomes operational, the institute will be a leader in the provision of cutting edge health care in the country as well as contributing to the realization of the Universal Health Coverage Agenda.

She said with the institute, the university will be able to follow suit and deepen its work on medical research even as it strives to offer clinical services and medical education.

Mohamed said that the initiative will help provide services to the people who are currently struggling to seek treatment elsewhere due to its cost of treatment.

Mohamed urged other universities in the country to collaborate with the private sector to build such institutes so as to serve the nation better and ensure world-class medical care is available for all Kenyans no matter their location.

"The institute will be a multifunctional facility that offers modern and outstanding teaching, training and research facilities for cancer health-care," Peter Mbithi, the Vice Chancellor of UoN said.

Mbithi added that the institute that will be situated within the university, will offer holistic patient-centred cancer services, provide research and innovations and raise awareness about cancer.

He said that it will also help enhance coordination among stakeholders and work in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute to develop a comprehensive National Cancer Registry.

Mbithi said that upon its completion, the institute will comprise the division of laboratory medicine, division of radiology, division of radiotherapy, division of adult oncology and internal medicine, division of paediatrics oncology, division of surgery, division of anaesthesia critical and palliative care, division of nursing, division of pharmacy and division of bone marrow/stem transplant.

Wei Xiaolin, President of Cherami Africa Limited, said that the institution will save patients from travelling abroad for cancer treatment.

"We shall embark on training personnel and also equip the institute with modern and relevant equipment to help save lives of people," Wei added.

He noted that the institute upon completion will be a leading cancer research in the region and Africa in general.

Wei said that through the collaboration, Cherami brings the best of Asian technology, knowledge and funds to meet the most socially impactful demands in Africa.

According to the ministry of health, cancer is now the third leading cause of mortality in Kenya, accounting for some 7 percent of the total deaths, after infectious and cardiovascular diseases.

Guangzhou Cherami China-Africa Investment Management, which includes Cherami Africa Limited, is an afro-centric integrated financial services group. The company specializes in fund management, private equity, investment banking and international investment.

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