Proposal Fronted for Govt to Reimburse Cancer Patients’ Travel Expenses


Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA) board chairperson Irungu Nyakera on  Monday revealed that a proposal had been fronted to have the government reimburse eligible cancer patients for travel expenses.

In a statement posted on his platforms, Nyakera revealed that in the plan, the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) would be the body tasked with processing the reimbursements.

The KEMSA Chair revealed that the recommendation was one of the key takeaways from a collaborative meeting held between officials from the Authority and representatives of the multinational pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.  

“Last week we held a stakeholder meeting with AstraZeneca to discuss areas of prospective collaborations and partnerships supporting cancer care. Our takeaways were “NHIF to provide patients journey reimbursement for all eligible patients, stated Nyakera.

A photo of the KEMSA Board Chairperson, Irungu Nyakera


Additionally, the chairperson revealed that AstraZeneca would consider investing in prostate and breast cancer screening platforms in the 47 county referral hospitals.

This is in an effort to ensure that there is early detection of cases and avert possible progression of cancer cases.

Further, in collaboration with the multinational, the government will also develop a framework for cancer patients to access drugs at the lowest possible prices with KEMSA expected to facilitate the whole process.

The proposals made are in an effort to reduce the financial burden that cancer patients are subjected to while accessing treatment.

Additionally, Astra Zeneca launched a Cancer Care Africa programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Kenya Society of Hematology and Oncology (KESHO), Axios, the National Cancer Institute of Kenya (NCI), and other partners.

The Centre will aid in the early detection and treatment of cancer patients through a simplified process.

In Kenya, cancer is ranked as the third leading cause of death in statistics provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to WHO, a total of 29,317 people lost their lives to cancer in 2022 in Kenya while 44,726 cases of cancer were reported.

Officials from AstraZeneca in a meeting with Ministry of Health and KEMSA officials


Irungu Nyakera


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