Background: Lockdown measures to reduce the outbreak of COVID-19 negatively impacted the administration of cancer chemotherapy globally; however, data from Kenya are limited. Researchers strove to address this information gap and assess chemotherapy trends before and during the pandemic at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), the most wide-ranging referral infirmary in Kenya, along with associated factors to provide future guidance. Methods: Time series analyses and patient interviews were undertaken at the KNH Cancer Treatment Centre. Patient data were analyzed descriptively and inferentially. The average quarterly scores of chemotherapy-related patients from January 2019 to December 2020 were computed for the time series analysis. Results: A total of 241 participants were recruited. Of the participants, 164 (68%) were female, and the mean age was 55. Breast cancer was the most typical cancer type. Independent risk factors for missed chemotherapy sessions were a considerable increase in travel costs, rescheduled appointments alongside difficulties in securing an appointment, comorbidities, and marital status. There was a decline in chemotherapy utilization before COVID-19, with a sharp drop at the pandemic's peak. Conclusion: COVID-19 and associated measures did appreciably affect the treatment of cancer patients with chemotherapy in this developing country, with several factors contributing to this. Efforts should be geared toward continuity of services during future pandemics in developing countries to improve patient outcomes.


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Njunge, I., Okalebo, F., Kurdi, A., Kumar, S., Sinha, S., Haque, M., Adnan, N., Meyer, J., Godman, B. & Opanga, S. 2023, 'The disruptive impact of COVID-19 on the utilization of cancer chemotherapy-related healthcare assistance at the principal nationwide referral hospital In Kenya', Cureus, 15(12), article no: e50320. https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.50320

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Last updated: 19 December 2023
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