Agha Khan University Receives Ksh.16 Million for Cervical Cancer in Kenya

The Aga Khan University (AKU) has been awarded a Ksh.19.6 million research grant by the National Institutes of Health to perform clinical testing of a low-cost handheld 3D medical imaging device for detecting cervical cancer in Kenya.

The grant is part of a two-year Ksh.261 million grant funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

It will be used to complete research and development and conduct clinical testing of the device at AKU in Kenya.

Other institutions which will benefit from the grant are the University of Science and Technology in Malawi and at Virginia Tech [VT] Carilion School of Medicine in the United States.

“Our goal is to play a role in the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cervical cancer patients which will help combat this preventable disease,” said Dr Elkanah Omenge, Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, AKU Medical College, East Africa and Co-Principal Investigator in the grant.

Also Read: Agha Khan Launches Masters of Arts in Strategic Communication

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, with around 660, 000 new cases in 2022.

In the same year, about 94% of the 350,000 deaths caused by cervical cancer occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

The highest rates of cervical cancer incidence and mortality are in the sub-Saharan Africa region.

In Kenya, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among Kenyan women after breast cancer but is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Kenyan women.

The burden is disproportionately higher in less developed regions due to limited access to preventative measures such as human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programs and effective screening strategies.

“We spent years in research and development, so we are now extremely excited to start clinical tests with patients in three countries. Being able to partner with health leaders at Aga Khan University has been an incredible opportunity for proving new life-saving technologies in the prevention of cervical cancer,” said Dr Joe Carson, the Co-principal investigator on this grant and Pensievision’s Chief Technology Officer.

In Kenya, the study which is in partnership with Pensievision, Inc., an imaging technology startup, will start in September 2024 and will be implemented at Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, the Hospital’s outreach medical centres and at the community level.

Agha Khan University Receives Ksh.16 Million for Cervical Cancer in Kenya
Aga Khan University Hospitals Heart and Cancer Centre
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Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a dynamic journalist currently overseeing content at Metropol TV Digital. With a keen focus on business news and analytics, Lawrence guides the platform in delivering insightful, data-driven content that empowers its audience to make informed decisions. Lawrence’s commitment to quality and his ability to anticipate market trends make him a key figure in the digital media landscape. His work continues to shape the way business news is consumed, making a significant impact in the field.

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