The latest technology on early cancer diagnosis and detection is now in the East African country of Kenya.
The PET CT machine, a molecular imaging system that gives an accurate indication of the progress of cancer in its earliest stages, has been acquired by Aga Khan University Hospital in Kenya. It was acquired from General Electric Healthcare.
On Thursday, General Electric Healthcare and Aga University Hospital held a symposium to create awareness on the benefits the equipment would provide to Africans unable to travel to Europe, the United States, Asia or the Middle east.
The acquisition of the ultra-modern Positron Emission Tomography scanner and Cyclotron from GE Healthcare by Aga Khan University Hospital is only the second in Africa. The first one is in South Africa.
The clarity of the PET CT machine enables clinicians to confidently evaluate a patient’s response to cancer treatment, reducing on unnecessary procedures and cost of treatment.
Over 200 healthcare specialists from across East Africa and two world renowned cancer experts were in attendance.
The symposium, organized to drive dialogue on latest innovations and interventions in early cancer diagnosis and detection, was attended by university faculty, radiologists and cancer specialists from the East Africa region.
Key notes presentations were delivered by world renown Professor Gustav von Schulthess, Chairman and head of department of Medical Radiology at the University Hospital of Zurich and Professor Mansoor Saleh, Senior Scientist and Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the University of Alabama at Birmingham USA.
Professor Von Schulthess also hosted a webinar on The Impact of Molecular Imaging on Disease Evaluation Contents.
“In addition to establishing the PET-CT service, we will establish in our hospital a new Department of Oncology that will provide a high quality integrated model of care that will be focused on continuous learning, developing and sharing best practice, and focused on the continuum of patient care. Closely linked to this will be a significant investment in creating a Centre for Oncology Research – ensuring that we are contributing to the development of research capacity in this field and that we can address the unique issues that present in the context of the communities of East Africa,” said Professor Robert Armstrong, the founding dean (AKU) Medical College in East Africa.
According to World Health Organisation, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally and 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries. About 70% of cancer patients don’t respond to their initial chemotherapy. Clear technology through PET CT and Cyclotron helps match the right therapy to the right patient, ensuring personalized care, and enabling clinicians to confidently evaluate a patient’s response to cancer treatment.
The PET CT and Cyclotron Symposium is part of GE Healthcare’s commitment to support education and training through leveraging its innovation and expertise in designing and running relevant courses in Healthcare. In 2016, GE inaugurated a healthcare training and skills institute in Kenya designed to train health professionals. Over 1,000 professionals have benefited from the institute since its launch. Recently, GE Healthcare also signed a partnership with the Society of Radiography in Kenya (SORK) to equip a minimum of 140 radiographers on the latest radiography technologies.
Simon is a renowned international journalist, founder and publisher of TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.