Cancer experts have blamed [Kenya's] unreliable referral system labelling it as the major cause for the more than 32,000 deaths annually. The oncologists have dismissed the narrative that most cancer cases are presented in hospitals at an already advanced stage, which leaves patients with minimal or no chance of survival. The blame has been shifted to practitioners working in lower-tier facilities and the front line health practitioners who would rather continue treating a patient despite them showing no sign of recovery.

Dr Fredrick Chite (pictured), a medical oncologist, said even when patients are referred, it is not done properly, but as a way to ‘chase’ them out of the facilities. Patients do not present to hospitals late. Most patients on average have seen eight other health practitioners. It is these (practitioners) who do not refer them on time,” he said.

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