In Kenya, cancer is the third leading cause of death. The African Inland Church Kijabe Hospital (AICKH) is a level 4 missionary hospital. The hospital serves the Kenyan population in many areas, including cancer care, and some of these services were affected during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. We aimed to leverage a recently established hospital-based cancer registry of patients treated at AICKH between 2014 and 2020 to describe the cancer cases and patient referral patterns seen at AICKH during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. A cross-sectional retrospective survey was conducted through medical records abstraction in the surgery, breast clinic, palliative care and pathology departments. A total of 3279 cases were included in the study, with females accounting for 58.1% of the cases. The top-three cancers overall were breast (23.0%), oesophagus (20.5%) and prostate (8.6%). There was a minimal increase in the number of cancer cases in 2020 (1.7%) compared with 2019, with an increase of 19.3% in 2019 compared with 2018. In conclusion, AICKH is one of the few hospitals in Kenya where a large number of cancer patients seek healthcare, and referral of cancer cases changed in 2020, which may be due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Future efforts can leverage this registry to determine the impacts of cancer diagnosis and treatment on survival outcomes.


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Cite as

Kamita, M., Bird, P., Akinyi, B., Kamau, R., Carter, R., Muma, S., Adam, M., Makori, T., Figueroa, J. & Makokha, F. 2023, 'Cancer referrals at African Inland Church Kijabe Hospital, Kiambu County (2014-2020) and the impact of COVID-19', International Health, article no: ihad007. https://doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihad007

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Last updated: 15 July 2023
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