In 2020, breast cancer reported 2.3 million new cases and 685,000 deaths globally, making it one of the world’s most prevalent type of cancer (WHO). In Kenya, breast cancer registered 5,985 new cases and accounted for 9.2 % of all cancer deaths, making it the third leading cause of all registered deaths due to cancer (GLOBOCAN, 2018).
Such data exposes gaps in the diagnosis and management of breast cancer. Breast cancer patients could be presenting at a late stage either due to a lack of information on the need for early screening or to existing challenges in breast cancer management, hence the higher mortality and low overall survival. To address this, there is a need to strengthen the three pillars (1, health promotion for early detection; 2, timely diagnosis; and 3, comprehensive breast cancer management) that are critical in reducing global breast cancer mortality by 2.5% per year. Reducing global breast cancer mortality by 2.5% per year would avert 25% of breast cancer deaths by 2030 and 40% by 2040 among women under 70 years of age (WHO).
In response to pillars 1 and 2 that advocate for health promotion for early detection and timely diagnosis, Population Services Kenya (through our Tunza clinics), with support from Stanbic Bank Foundation and in partnership with Kisumu County Department of Health, conducted free breast cancer screening events in Kisumu county that saw over 900 women benefit from the drive
“When I learnt about this free event, I made a decision to get screened in order to know my breast cancer status. I have seen women lose their lives to breast cancer and I would not wish to be the next.” Loreto Achieng, resident of Kondele Kisumu
The event was launched by the county first lady, Dorothy Nyong’o, accompanied by the Stanbic Bank Chief Executive Officer, Charles Mudiwa. The screening took place in several select locations, namely Kisumu County Referral Hospital and Ahero Sub County Hospital. Airport Health Center, Ober Amoth Health Center, Nightingale Health Center, St. Consolota Health Center, Kondingo Health Center, and Sangorota Health Center.