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Chemotherapy in Kenya

Cancer is a lethal disease in Kenya. Are you looking for chemotherapy in Kenya for cancer treatment? Affordable treatment in chemotherapy cost in Kenya is no less than a blessing for Kenyan patients, which covers at a minimum price in their home country. In Kenya, women are most prone to breast and cervical cancer, while men’s important cause of cancer is prostate cancer and esophageal.

In Kenya, typically, chemotherapy costs in Kenya range from KES6,000 (US$60) and KES600,000 (US$600) with every treatment cycle in public hospitals. The factors that affect chemotherapy are the costs of supportive and rehabilitative care and the number of tests done during the treatment.

The treatment cost varies for reasons like the patient’s medical condition while admitted, the choice of city, hospital, and experienced surgeons in Kenya. The hospital has a dedicated oncology unit, where many specialized oncologists work in the best hospitals in Kenya. At expertchikitsa.com, get more details about chemotherapy costs in Kenya. Let’s see in-depth all about chemotherapy in Kenya.

Chemotherapy Cost in Kenya

The average cost of chemotherapy in Kenya is KES 138,207 and USD 1364. Some patients provided a combination of all, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy price in Kenya is KES 333,462 (USD 3291.8) for each patient in a year.

Accordingly, the government carries a guide for best treatment and the cost incurred in chemotherapy in Kenya via insurance schemes. Below is the list of chemotherapy costs in Kenya:

Chemotherapy Cost in Kenya

Chemotherapy in Kenya Average Cost in USD Average Cost in Kenya Shillings (KES)
Alkylating Agents $1,020 Ksh 122,400
Plant Alkaloids $936 Ksh 112,320
Antitumor Antibiotics $996 Ksh 119,520
Antimetabolites $1,104 Ksh 132,480
Topoisomerase Inhibitors $1,056 Ksh 126,720
Hormonal agents $1,128 Ksh 135,360
Biological response modifiers $1,092 Ksh 131,040
Miscellaneous Antineoplastics $1,068 Ksh 128,160
Mitotic Inhibitors $960 Ksh 115,200


Cancer treatment in Kenya provided in three ways that are surgery, the most frequent treatment mode (25.4%), next is chemotherapy (24.6%), palliative care (21.7%), and a few radiotherapy cases (6.3%).

Chemotherapy Cost in Cities of Kenya

Chemotherapy in Kenya Average Cost in USD Average Cost in Kenya Shillings (KES)
Nairobi $3,500 Ksh 420,000
Mombasa $3,745 Ksh 449,400
Nakuru $4,045 Ksh 485,352
Eldoret $4,490 Ksh 538,741
Kisumu $5,028 Ksh 603,390


The chemotherapy cost in Nairobi is Ksh 420,000, while in Mombasa, its price is Ksh 449,400. Similarly, in Nakuru, the charge for Chemotherapy is Ksh 485,352; in Eldoret, its chemotherapy treatment cost is Ksh 538,741 whereas, in Kisumu, the minimum chemotherapy cost is Ksh 603,390 in Kenya cities.

What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is the cancer treatment where the drugs kill cancer cells. It works by inhibiting the cancer cells from increasing, dividing, and stopping cell multiplication. Chemotherapy or chemo drugs are given together with other cancer treatments like surgery and radiation therapy.

It can treat many cancers, including primary cancer, which concentrates on a specific body area. In contrast, metastatic cancer has already spread into other body parts.

Chemotherapy collaborates with other cancer therapies in cancers, such as surgery, radiation, or hormone therapy. The combination therapy factors are:

  • type and stage of cancer one has
  • overall health one possesses
  • any previous cancer treatments you have gone
  • the area where the cancer cells present
  • treatment choice one has

Chemotherapy is a systemic treatment, which means it affects the overall body.

Chemotherapy is given by mouth, injection, infusion, or under the skin; that depends on the kind and cancer stage.

How is Chemotherapy Delivered?

Intravenous (IV) chemotherapy: Some drugs are needed directly into a vein via injection and are known as intravenous or IV chemotherapy. This treatment takes a few minutes to an hour.

Oral chemotherapy: Oral chemotherapy is given by mouth. It can be a pill, capsule, or liquid, cured at home with medication provided by the doctors.

Injected chemotherapy: Injected chemotherapy is provided in the form of a shot and injected in a muscle or beneath the skin, and one gets shots in the arm, leg, and abdomen.

Chemotherapy into an artery or intra-arterial or IA chemotherapy: An artery is a blood vessel that goes from your heart to another part of the body. Often, chemotherapy is injected via an artery that carries directly to the cancer area.

Chemotherapy into the peritoneum or abdomen: For some chemotherapy cancer treatment, medication is directly in your abdomen area. Peritoneum treatment works for cancers and protects the surface of the inner part of the abdomen that surrounds the intestines, liver, and stomach. e.g., ovarian cancer

Topical chemotherapy: This kind of chemotherapy is where the cream is put on one skin and can be treated at home via prescribed medication by doctors.

 Kinds of Chemotherapy in Kenya

Chemotherapy treatment of cancer comprises more than 100 different drugs. The main types of chemotherapy are:

-Alkylating agents: The set of drugs works directly on DNA to inhibit the cell from duplicating itself. These medicines kill cells in all stages of the cell cycle. Examples of alkylating agents are Chlorambucil, Cyclophosphamide, Cisplatin, and Carboplatin. The alkylating agent chemotherapy cost in Kenya is Ksh 122,400 and $1,020.

-Antimetabolites: Medicines that affect a cell’s RNA and DNA. When cells are in the dividing stages, antimetabolites work well. For instances are Fluorauracil, Methotrexate and Fludarabine. Antimetabolites’ chemotherapy cost in Kenya is Ksh 132,480 and $1,104.

-Plant alkaloids and natural products: Those medicines are derived from natural products. This set of drugs can block the cell’s capacity to divide and develop into two cells and restore the damage done to cells. Plant alkaloids and natural products are actinomycin D, doxorubicin, mitomycin, Vincristine, Paclitaxel, and Topotecan. The plant alkaloids and natural products chemotherapy costs in Kenya are Ksh 112,320 and USD 936.

-Anti-tumor antibiotics: Antineoplastic drugs are made from micro-organisms. These antibiotics do not perform like the ones used to treat infections, but they work in all cell cycle stages. These antibiotics break up DNA strands or reduce or stop the DNA synthesis that cells need to develop. Examples are Bleomycin, Doxorubicin, and Mitoxantrone. The anti-tumor antibiotics chemotherapy cost in Kenya is Ksh 119,520, while in USD, its price is $996.

-Topoisomerase Inhibitors: These inhibitors interfere with enzymes called topoisomerases, help in the breaking of the strands of DNA, and can be replicated later. Topoisomerase inhibitors cure certain leukemias and lung, pancreatic, ovarian, gastrointestinal, and colorectal cancers. However, Topoisomerase II inhibitors may raise the risk of second cancer. The Topoisomerase I inhibitors are irinotecan, topotecan, and camptothecin, and topoisomerase II inhibitors include etoposide, doxorubicin, and epirubicin. The average chemotherapy cost of Topoisomerase Inhibitors in Kenya is Ksh 126,720 (USD 1,056).

-Mitotic Inhibitors: Mitotic inhibitors or plant alkaloid compounds made from natural plant products. It inhibits mitosis, cell division where single cells divide into new cells. It may destroy cells in all stages by retaining enzymes to make proteins required for cell reproduction. Examples of mitotic inhibitors include the taxanes and vinca alkaloids. The Mitotic Inhibitors chemotherapy cost in Kenya is Ksh 115,200 and USD 960.

-Hormonal Agents: There are two kinds of hormonal agents in the chemotherapy treatment of cancers. The Hormonal Agent’s chemotherapy cost in Kenya is Ksh 135,360 and USD 1,128.

  • Corticosteroid hormones: Corticosteroid hormones are required to treat some cancers (leukemia, multiple myeloma, and lymphoma). While some steroids are used to reduce the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord tumors, they are combined with other chemotherapy drugs—for instance, Prednisone and Dexamethasone.
  • Sex hormones: They can control the growth of breast, uterine, and prostate cancers. Drugs for sex hormones do not destroy cells, as chemo drugs do, but they discontinue the “food supply” to kill the cancer cells. E.g., of sex hormones are Tamoxifen and Leuprolide.

Biological response modifiers: Medicines that boost the body’s immune system to fight the growth of cancer cells in the body. Other chemotherapy agents may stop or reduce cancer growth by interrupting the course required to grow or further increases. This group of anticancer medicines is considered separate from chemotherapy. For instance, biological response modifiers are Herceptin, Avastin, Erbitux, and Rituxan. The biological response modifier’s chemotherapy cost in Kenya is Ksh 131,040, and the average cost is $1,092.

Miscellaneous Antineoplastics: Antineoplastics, also known as anticancer drugs, affect the growth and cell division that inhibit cell growth. Anticancer drugs behave in separate mechanisms to stop the development and spread of neoplastic cells. They disturb the quickly dividing normal cells; hence they suppress the bone marrow and growth, destroy the healing process, and cause sterility and loss of hair. e.g., Accutane, Vidaza, Proleukin, etc. The miscellaneous antineoplastics chemotherapy price in Kenya is Ksh 128,160 and $1,068.

How to Prepare for Chemotherapy Treatment in Kenya?

A patient has to prepare for chemotherapy in advance. Oncologists give you specific instructions to prepare for your chemotherapy treatments.

Doctors prescribe types of blood tests and procedures, check your teeth with a dentist for any infection, and are ready for chemotherapy sessions.

Chemotherapy is based on the types of drugs one gets and how one will manage them. So the next step is how chemotherapy drugs are given, like pills, shots, creams, etc.

Plan for the side effects and treatment scheduled and when the patient’s body recovers after every treatment.

The patients have to meet the doctors regularly for chemotherapy. After chemotherapy, the doctor will monitor the patients for other side effects and how the treatment responds.

Side Effects of Chemotherapy

There are many side effects of chemotherapy are listed below:

  • Anemia
  • Low platelet count results in immediate risk of bruising and bleeding.
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hair loss i.e., alopecia
  • Infertility
  • Sleep problems, i.e., insomnia
  • Infections
  • Fatigue or non-specific neurocognitive and concentration problem
  • Damage to an organ
  • Hand-foot syndrome
  • Skin problems include red skin (erythema), dry skin, mouth, etc.

Summary of Chemotherapy in Kenya

The treatment cost depends on the type of cancer, its stage, and treatment methods in recent years in Kenya.

Patients should be motivated to go for regular check-ups so that early diagnosis, monitoring the development, along with giving advice and inspire to change their lifestyles to eliminate the probability of developing cancer in their body.

Individuals should follow lifestyle changes such as dietary alterations, exercise, and a weight loss regime.

FAQs About Chemotherapy in Kenya

For how many days did the side effects of chemotherapy last?

-Some side effects subsidies quickly, but many side effects take months or years to go away entirely after chemotherapy.

How much time does a chemotherapy treatment take?

-The extent of chemotherapy treatment consists of the type of chemo one gets. Although it can take a few minutes to an hour. in chemotherapy, most people need several rounds and may take daily, weekly, and monthly therapy.

What is the recovery time after chemotherapy?

– Recovery time is about two months for every one month of chemotherapy treatment before energy will come back to your body.

Can chemotherapy be painful?

The IV chemotherapy should not cause any pain while being given. However, if any discomfort occurs, communicate with the surgeons immediately.

What is the success rate of chemotherapy?

-It includes age, complete health, and any other medical conditions in your body during chemotherapy.


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