Dr Miriam Mutebi, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery
Dr Miriam Mutebi, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery at the AKU Medical College, East Africa has been appointed to the cancer task force. The government task force is mandated to design an effective cancer management strategy for Kenya.
An alumni of AKU, Dr Mutebi will co-chair the task force with the Head of the National Cancer Control Programme, Dr Mary Nyangasi.
Acknowledging her appointment, Dr Mutebi said: “Kenya definitely has a growing cancer problem and several barriers to cancer care exist for our patients; whether financial, health systems related or socio-cultural. We need to shift this narrative by developing practical strategies and policies to guide efforts to improve cancer screening and early detection, diagnosis and treatment in the country.”
The cancer task force is mandated to review the institutional, policy and legal framework for cancer management in the country, assessing the prevailing health system capacity to deliver effective cancer control and analyse the actors and stakeholders in the cancer ecosystem.
According to the Ministry of Health, cancer is the third leading cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. From 2012 to 2018, the annual incidence of cancer increased from 37,000 to 47,887 new cases. In addition, the three most common cancers in Kenya are breast, cervical and prostate.
“As we strive towards evidence-based, best practice nationally, we have an opportunity as AKU to enhance our engagement with the government and the private sector, whether through policy, clinical or service expertise and bidirectional learning and knowledge sharing to ensure that we work collectively to improve the cancer journey for our patients,” added Dr Mutebi.
Last year, Dr Mutebi was appointed to the board of directors of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), becoming the first African oncologist to sit on the board. The appointment was announced by the UICC Board President Anil D’Cruz following a competitive election by the UICC General Assembly.