Kenyans welcomed a state-of-the-art regional cancer center in Mombasa county on Tuesday.

Long lines and malfunctioning equipment due to overwork have been a constant that has stalled operations at the Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital cancer center in Nairobi, which was the only public facility of its kind in Kenya.

Kenyans suffering from different types of cancers have had to seek treatment elsewhere, especially in India.

President Uhuru Kenyatta said the ultra-modern facility is part of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) pillar of the “Big Four Agenda” in Kenya and it boasts high-tech equipment to offer comprehensive cancer care.

The ‘Big Four Agenda’ are Kenyatta’s legacy projects that he is committed to execute by the time he leaves office in 2022, including food security, affordable housing, universal health care and manufacturing and job creation.

“We are doing all this to ensure wananchi (Swahili for Kenyan citizens) have unfettered access to quality health services,” Kenyatta said, noting that the facility will facilitate access to treatment.

Many in East Africa seek treatment in Kenya, which boasts the largest economy in the region with improved infrastructure and modern equipment.

The center will not only cater to Kenyans but also the region.

Kenyatta thanked the Mombasa government and its residents “for giving priority to the health of the people and for championing medical tourism,” saying this will contribute to expanding the county’s revenue base.

Kenya’s health minister added that his ministry plans to open four more cancer centers in Nakuru, Garissa, Kisumu and Nyeri counties.​​​​​​​

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