Cancer Awareness and Public Health Education in Kenya
Most people in Kenya are not aware of signs and symptoms of different types of cancer, and where to get information. Having such information is very essential for making decision and taking actions that can improve disease management.
Since 2008, Tumaini has been creating awareness about cancer and its prevention to thousands of residents. Our focus and efforts have been directed at cervical, breast, prostrate, esophagus which are the most prevalent cancers in Kenya.
We have awareness and referral teams in Kisumu, Nyakach, Migori, and Nairobi. With emphasis on preventative health we seek to increase public knowledge about cancer through information, education and behavior change (IE/BC) communication campaigns.
Our teams teach individuals and households, small groups such as SACCOs, students, and employees of corporations through interactive sessions. We also make presentations and distribute IE/BC materials at large public events, and through mass media.
This year we will start conduct training for community health volunteers (CHVs), and session on occupation health and environmental risk management targeting Jua Kali (informal) artisans. Our goal is to reach 30,000 people.We plan to conduct Continuous Medical Education (CME) sessions for Community Health Worker’s (CHV’s)and medical practitioners.
Cancer Screening: Community based Camps
Most deaths associated with cancer in Kenya have been attributed to late detection. Too often cancer is detected late when it has reached advanced stages.
Community based medical camps provide great avenue for detecting cancer symptoms early, and offer appropriate linkages for prompt treatment. Our camp events in Awasi, Nyakach, Kisumu, Kombewa and more have had life saving impacts.
Our objective through these camps is to increase public screening activities at community based medical facilities. We want people to know the kinds of screening services available to them, and how to access them.
We are scaling up this program so as to reach 3,000 people in 2018-2019 period, and are starting a new screening initiative targeting HIV/AIDS patients.
Cancer Patients Navigation and Support
Cancer treatment process is a journey. At Tumaini, we walk alongside patients and their families in order to improve access to diagnosis and treatment services promptly and in a cost effective manner. We provide services that make the journey less burdensome.
We provide case management services for cancer patients, including those in palliative care, and care givers. Services include:
Patient education which is intended to inform, educate, and understand treatment processes, logistics, and costs so they can be better prepared.
Patients referrals and access to labs and diagnostic centers, doctors, surgeons and specialists which involves accompanying them and sometimes contributing towards costs of these activities and processes. We plan to launching NHIF group cover program to better serve needy uninsured patients.
Our Joanna’s Houseprovides subsidized accommodation to cancer patients as they undergo treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital, or Texas Cancer Center in Nairobi.
Providing psychosocial and spiritual counselling and motivation and linkages to support groups are .
Our objective this year is to provide provide assistance to patients specifically treatment navigation and assistance services to 2618 patients and care givers.
Education and Child Development
In partnership with Soi AIC Church we work with families to train and nurture students in primary so that they can achieve academic excellence, make right decisions and obey God’s word.
Soi AIC offers K-Grade 6 and currently has 128 students. The is school is located in Upper Nyakach, at the compound of AIC Soi Church.
Strengthening Health Systems For Cancer Care.
Building up the ability of partners, organizations and groups involved in cancer care significantly reduces the impact of cancer in our communities. One way we have done this in the past is through supply of screening items such as head lamps, speculums, KY Jelly, gloves, and on some occasions gas tanks for Cryotherapy
Starting 2019 we will start providing IE/BC resources and technical support services to select community based organizations so they can reach out to their communities. We also plan organize continuous medical education (CME) to both community health volunteers, and medical professionals involved in cancer care in Kisumu County.