Access to Cancer Care: navigating the maze

Njeru, Mercy Karimi; Mackintosh, Maureen; Ngilangwa, Richard; Mokua, Sharon; Arun, Richard Mutisya and Mukami, Jane (2024). Access to Cancer Care: navigating the maze. In: Banda, Geoffrey; Mackintosh, Maureen; Njeru, Mercy Karimi; Srinivas, Smita and Makene, Fortunata Sangora eds. Cancer Care in Pandemic Times: Building inclusive local health security in Africa and India. International Political Economy Series. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 69–92.



This chapter analyses narratives from over 450 patients in Kenya and Tanzania, describing their cancer “pathways”, drawing also on views from carers and health workers. We characterise patients’ experiences as, too often, finding themselves in a “maze” after they first visit a health facility. Rather than a smooth clinical pathway from symptoms to diagnosis, patients had found themselves struggling to find money to move through a confusing health system maze, largely without maps or guides to aid their search for information, diagnosis and treatment. The chapter describes patterns of experience within the maze, and implications for access to care.

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