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First Lady of Kenya Visits Princess Máxima Center

On Wednesday, July 25, a Kenyan delegation visited the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology. Led by the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, the delegation was welcomed by the CEO of Máxima, Diana Monissen.

As part of its outreach program, the Princess Máxima Center collaborates with the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) located in Eldoret, Kenya's fourth largest city. Like many other developing countries, Kenya is struggling with a high mortality rate among children with cancer. The Kenyan delegation visited the Princess Máxima Center to learn not only about the Dutch approach to childhood cancer, but also about our country's healthcare system.

Visit
After viewing a presentation on the approach to childhood cancer in the Netherlands, the Princess Máxima Center and how healthcare is organized in our country, the delegation was given a tour of the center. The First Lady of Kenya was particularly impressed by the rooms for the older children, where parents and their children can always be together in their own space with their own facilities. The 'practice MRI' unit and the Muziekids music room also impressed the delegation.

Childhood Cancer in Kenya
Pediatric oncologists in the Netherlands have been working with pediatricians and other healthcare professionals in Kenya since 2009. Since 2017, this collaboration has been coordinated by the Princess Máxima Center, under the auspices of World Child Cancer NL. Dutch pediatric oncologists, nurses and other experts regularly visit the country to share knowledge, discuss cases and work with local healthcare providers on, for example, treatment protocols and increasing compliance. The first results are already visible: the survival rate for children with cancer at the partner hospital in Kenya has increased from less than 10% to 30-40% for certain tumor types.

The delegation's visit to the Netherlands is important for informing content experts within the Kenyan government about our outreach activities, for generating support and, in the future, for raising local funds to finance the program in Kenya.