Health Cabinet Secretary has applauded the effort by Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association to improve access to palliative care in Kenya.

Speaking during the opening of an exercise and therapy studio by Safaricom Foundation in partnership with Faraja Cancer Support Trust, Mr. Macharia said hospice and palliative care units are doing a great work in supporting cancer patients whose diseases are at advanced stages.

“It is time we think of supporting palliative care centers. If we do so, we shall have a lot of people living comfortably to the end of their life,” said Mr. Macharia.

He said that his ministry will continue working closely with stakeholders in policy formulation to make cancer treatment affordable in the country to avoid patients spending a lot of money seeking treatment outside the country.

The exercise and therapy studio is designed to provide complementary care and support for cancer patients at no cost and was named after the late Ivor Machio Wekesa, a Safaricom employee who died of cancer.

The studio aims to better the lives of cancer patients and their families by providing ample space for guided physical activity and therapy.

Faraja encourages cancer patients to take up yoga, strength training, dance and exercise as these therapies contribute to their recovery and general well being.

Safaricom Foundation Chairman Mr. Joseph Ogutu expressed concern over the high number of cancer patients during mobile screening events.

“Many do not know that they are suffering from cancer. We need to have more such mobile screening units to reach more Kenyans.” Mr. Ogutu said.

He said that Safaricom contributed Ksh. 5.6m towards the refurbishment and equipping of the studio adding that the center will provide essential support to those battling with cancer.

Present during the occasion was Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, former Vice President Moody Awory, Senator Anyang Nyong’o who is a cancer survivor and the family of the late Ivor Machio.