Combating Cancer in Kenya

Access Accelerated
A partnership with the Beth Mugo Cancer Foundation (BMCF) to support people with breast, cervical and prostate cancer in Kenya.
Government 1
Local NGOs 1

The aim of the agreement between Roche and the BMCF is to promote access to information, detection and treatment of breast, cervical and prostate cancer in Kenya.

What are the health needs and challenges?

Cancer is one of the greatest health challenges of our time, and a leading cause of death in every corner of the world. Without preventative measures, the disproportionate majority of mortality from cancer will occur in low-and middle-income countries where there is limited availability of screening, early detection and access to treatment.  Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in Kenya and the leading cause of cancer in women. Every year approximately 4,500 patients are diagnosed with the disease and 2,000 patients lose their lives to this disease.

Partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges.

The Beth Mugo Cancer Foundation (BMCF) was set up in 2016 by politician Beth Mugo, who in 1997 became the first woman to be elected to the Kenyan Parliament. In 2011, Mugo was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her initial response was to keep her disease a secret because of the stigma associated with it; eventually she began to discuss her cancer openly, attracting media attention and encouraging women across Kenya to get check-ups.

As part of Roche’s commitment to improving access to healthcare in Kenya, the company signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2016. This partnership is promoting access to information, detection and treatment of breast, cervical and prostate cancer. Furthermore, Roche has provided research data, basic training on cancer, support for patient organisations, and links to like-minded international organisations.


"If the right structures, equipment and doctors could be deployed to every county, we could address the [cancer care] problems squarely."
Farooq Mungai
Husband of a breast cancer patient
“Even the most ground-breaking innovation is meaningless if, at the end of the day, it does not reach the patients. One of the main lessons I learnt from my autumn 2016 sub-Saharan Africa trip was that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. We have to find individual solutions on the ground. Secondly, we, the private healthcare sector, will not be able to overcome this challenge on our own. We need partnerships.”
Christoph Franz
Chairman, Roche
Geographic Reach
Disease Area
  • Non-communicable Diseases
  • Women’s and Child Health
See Disease Areas
SGDs the partnership contributes to
SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
  1. 3.1: Reduce Maternal Mortality
  2. 3.2: Reduce Under-5 Mortality 
  3. 3.4: NCDs (including mental health)
  4. 3.7: Access to sexual and reproductive health-care services 
  5. 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 
Partner organizations

Ministry of Health Kenya

Local NGOs

Beth Mugo Cancer Foundation

Additional information