The Oncology Cancer Care Program at AMPATH-Kenya started in limited capacity for AIDs related malignancies under the USAID –AMPATH program in the year 2005. The major AIDS related malignancy at the time being Kaposi’s Sarcoma. As the years progressed, the program expanded its cancer care to include other cancers and blood disorders, such as Hemophilia and Sickle Cell Disease. AMPATH Oncology has grown from a single physician and nurse to team of 16 clinicians and nurses who serve approximately 10,000 cancer patients in a year and screen almost twice that number in the community outreach activities for Breast, Cervical and Prostate cancers. These substantial prevention efforts are achieved through community outreach and patient education programs conducted throughout the year.
The program, was previously embedded in the department of Oncology of Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) under the Division of Medicine. In the last quarter of 2014, Oncology was converted from a department to a division of MTRH hence known as: The Division of Oncology and Hematology.
The major activities and services that Oncology offers include:
1. Cervical cancer screening
2. Breast Cancer Screening
3. Palliative Cancer Screening
4. Treatment of various malignancies via medical, gynecologic and pediatric oncology services
5. Treatment of hematological disorders such as sickle cell and hemophilia
6. Cancer Research: Both Clinical Trials and Epidemiological studies
7. Outreach services such as screening for breast, cervical and prostate cancers in the communities.
In future AMPATH Oncology will be offering Radiation Therapy at MTRH, making this center the second public institution in Kenya to offer radiotherapy treatment to cancer patients.
Cancer treatment offered by the Oncology Program is currently available in 6 regions of Western Kenya namely; Busia, Webuye, Chulaimbo, Kitale, Port Victoria and Eldoret. In addition, cervical cancer screening clinics are fully operational in the towns of Iten and Mosoriot. In addition to these areas, several outreach screening activities for breast and cervical cancers as well as sickle cell have been conducted in areas such as Kapsokwony, Homabay, Naivasha, Nairobi and Mombasa.
The AMPATH Informatics team is working closely with the Oncology Program to implement the first Point-of-Care electronic medical records in AMPATH. This new technology will allow clinicians to update patient records in real time and access critical patient history information through direction interaction with AMRS. So far, a mobile device point of care data capture system is operational for breast and cervical cancer screening in Eldoret and will soon be rolled out in other sites where we operate. In the mean time, the Oncology Program is working with the AMPATH informatics team to develop a system within AMRS that will enable real time data capture by clinicians as a patient is attended to in clinic. We call this system “Oncology Point of Care (POC) Module”. It is expected that this module will revolutionize cancer care at AMPATH and MTRH.