Dr Parmenaus Okemwa, a consultant neuropathologist and Chairman of Brain Tumour Association of Kenya (BTAK) lead a campaign on awareness of brain conditions at the grassroots level which kick off at the Moi County Referral Hospital (MCRH) in Voi, Taita-Taveta County. The campaign aimed at raising awareness on neurological ailments and brain tumour diagnosis with an emphasis on early detection.
Specialists from BTAK, an association that consists of medical experts whose specialty is brain ailments, termed the campaign as a critical pillar in promoting early diagnosis of brain tumours and other neurosurgical conditions in the country.
A team of seven doctors, in partnership with Taita Taveta County Government, is conducting a three-day awareness and screening exercise to provide free services to brain tumour patients and spread expert information on the early signs and symptoms of the condition.
Dr Okemwa mentioned that the campaign is advocating for special care and quality treatment outcomes in order to promote and bring neurological services closer to the people. In addition, early detection through awareness was informed by the fact that brain tumors were the second most common tumors in children. He noted that proper education will enhance early reporting of such conditions for treatment.
The medical education sessions were being held for medics in Taveta Sub-County Hospital, Wesu Hospital in Wundanyi and Moi County Referral Hospital also in Voi. BTAK has formed collaborations with various organisations and learning institutions in the country where neurosurgeons are trained to build on their capacity in the field, enhance the diagnosis, and increase the survival outcomes for the patients.
In Kenya, experts on brain ailments are less than 100. There is a single resident neurosurgeon in the entire Coast Region based in Coast General Hospital in Mombasa County.
The campaign was part of the International Brain Tumour Awareness Week that commenced on 30th October to November 6 2021, the association seeks to address the awareness gap by spreading the much-needed information on brain tumours.
BTAK will hold such awareness drives in all the 47 counties across Kenya to increase awareness on brain tumors to facilitate early diagnosis and treatment.