Source :Standard Digital
By Ally Jamah
Nairobi, Kenya: The fight against cancer has moved a level higher after Kenya secured a Sh522 billion (4.5 billion) grant to build cancer and renal centres.
Speaking on Monday at his Afya House office in Nairobi, Medical Services Minister Anyang’ Nyong’o said the ‘unbelievable figure’, which is almost half of the country’s total budget, had been awarded by a French firm dubbed Group after approval of a proposal submitted by the ministry two months ago.
Aqua Cartis East Africa Financial Consultant Joseph Warui said the cancer and renal centres would drastically reduce cases of Kenyans travelling abroad to seek specialised treatment.
He added that Kenya would also become a regional hub for medical treatment. Warui described himself as a lawyer and a financial consultant.
“Our group has been funding many projects in Africa and this is the first major project in Kenya. Cancer is affecting many Kenyans and we hope to play our part in the fight. The money will ensure that we have well-equipped facilities in the country to fight cancer,” the minister said.
Nyong’o said that in the past five years, the ministry had been contacting pharmaceutical firms to see how they could partner with Kenya in fighting cancer and other diseases, or equipping health centres with the latest facilities.
He indicated that the proposal on cancer and renal centres was approved two months ago while the consent letter reached the ministry mid this month.
The minister insisted that the amount of the grant was accurate after journalists expressed skepticism about it, but Prof Nyong’o replied: “When I read those figures myself I didn’t believe them, but they are true.”
The money is able to construct at least 20 Thika super highways as well as referral facilities in all constituencies. It is not clear if all the cash will be transferred to Kenya at once or in installments.
Warui called on accountability on the part of the Kenya Government on spending of the money in order to ensure further funding in future is available.
Asked when construction of the cancer and renal centres would begin, the minister said they were still working on the modalities of having the funds transferred to the Treasury before specific timelines on the construction would be released.
He said he is waiting for Finance Minister Njeru Githae to return from abroad to discuss how to expedite the transfer of the cash from the French firm.