Nairobi — CANCER and heart diseases that have plagued most African countries for years are now under control following advent of modern equipment that detects the diseases at early stages for treatment.
In spite of the good news, the citizens have been urged to undergo regular health examinations in order to screen the diseases, particularly cancer, which can only be cured at early stages.
Speaking during an occasion to launch the equipment which use radioactive rays to screen cancer and heart diseases at Aga Khan Hospital here, President Jakaya Kikwete, was delighted with the service which he said was a relief to people suffering from the diseases.
Mr Kikwete is on a three-day State visit at the invitation of President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya. The Head of Radioactive Department at the Agha Khan University, Farrok Karasn, told President Kikwete that cancer can be cured provided the patient has been screened before the situation gets worse.
"Most cancer patients can hardly be cured as they report to hospitals when the disease has extensively spread to many parts of their bodies," the expert explained to Mr Kikwete. One of the machines that Mr Kikwete launched yesterday is called Linear Accelerator which has the capability of screening any party of the body affected by cancer.
"Unlike other machines used by other hospitals including Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Tanzania, this machine shows the specific part that has been affected," Mr Karasn said. Mr Kikwete was also shown another machine called Brach Therapy which can detect the disease by inserting an apparatus in the body.
However, the expert told the president that the technology is very expensive including footing costs of training experts to operate. "They are very good machines but very expensive. The experts operating them had to undergo over three years of training inside and outside the country," he said.
President Kikwete earlier visited a milk processing plant owned by Brookside Dairy on the outskirts of Nairobi where he also laid a foundation stone at a building envisaged to produce powdered milk.