The Kenya Cancer Feed A Patient Program
The Kenya Cancer Association Feed A Patient Program (KENCASA FAPP) is an initiative and program of the Kenya Cancer Association (KENCASA) that was initiated after KENCASA noted the plight of many cancer patients attending treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
As nutrition forms an integral part of human well-being, it would be accepted that healthy meals play a critical role in the healing and treatment process of a patient. Sadly, patients would wait in long queues and many times skip meals as they await treatment with the fear of having another patient go ahead of them or sometimes many are not able to afford a meal.
Persuaded by a strategic pillar of cancer patient support, KENCASA decided to stand in the gap and in partnership with Kenyatta National Hospital with the support of the Relay for Life Kenya launched KENCASA FAPP.
KENCASA FAPP targets cancer patients receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital. These are patients undergoing Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy sessions. However, the first phase of the program will benefit patients receiving Chemotherapy treatment but is intended to extend to those receiving Radiotherapy, based on support and availability of funds.
The program is in partnership with Kenyatta National Hospital who facilitate the preparing and serving of the meals to the patients.
The Kenyatta National Hospital Cancer treatment centre is the main public hospital offering comprehensive cancer treatment services. Many cancer patients seek treatment at the centre due to its low cost of treatment as compared to other private hospitals offering the same service. As a result, there is an overwhelming number of patients who visit KNH and the hospital has done its best but still requires more support.
Objectives and Goals of the Program
It is a fact that nutrition is an important factor in cancer treatment. This is because cancer treatment places a lot of nutritional demand on the patient. The main nutritional goals during this time are to maintain a healthy weight and eat healthy foods that supply the body with energy and nutrients for repair, recovery, and healing.
Based on this background, the objectives of KENCASA FAPP are:
- To alleviate short-term hunger for cancer patients waiting long hours to receive treatment.
- To encourage and motivate patients receiving treatment
- To create a platform for offering nutrition and cancer education to patients and caregivers.
- To offer a platform to address cancer treatment side effects.
- To conduct nutrition assessment of cancer patients and provide data for research.
The current phase targets approximately 140 patients every week based on an average of about 70 patients who attend the sessions on any of the given two days which is Wednesday and Friday. This translates to more than 500 meals in one month.
The long term target of the program is about 800 patients each week translating to 3200 meals each month which will extend to patients receiving Radiotherapy too. The main target here is to reduce the cancer burden and help patients in the fight against cancer realize the much needed support
Implementation of KENCASA FAPP
The implementation of the program is done by KENCASA in partnership with KNH. Here, KENCASA gives the funds to KNH who prepare hot meals at a subsidized cost and also serve the patients at the required times which is twice a week; On Wednesdays and Fridays (those are the days when Chemotherapy sessions are done).
Financing and Budget
The current phase is financed by part of the funds raised through KENCASA Relay for Life event which is an annual fundraising event. The program however needs more support and partners to improve its sustainability.
The estimated cost and budget for the program is KES 600, 000 to KES 3.94M each year.
Monitoring and Evaluation
A quarterly report is compiled by KENCASA to highlight the impact of KENCASA FAPP as well as challenges experienced. A Program Officer from KENCASA coordinates and carries out the monitoring and evaluation to ensure proper records are kept and provided in partnership with Kenyatta National Hospital.
A knowledge assessment test is also conducted after each three months to gauge nutrition knowledge gained by patients as well as asses behavior change.
Support and Participation
Funds supporting the program are channeled through Kenya Cancer Association which facilitates and coordinates the program.
Support and participation in KENCASA FAPP is open to individuals, organizations, corporates, governments and any entity or person who may be compelled to support in kind or in money.
Support is open and one can reach Kenya Cancer Association through the contacts given here.