Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery

by Faraja Cancer Support Trust
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Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Cancer in Kenya: Giving a real chance of recovery
Amina is one of the beneficiaries of the Fund
Amina is one of the beneficiaries of the Fund

Greetings from Faraja Cancer Support Trust.

You are receiving this as a contributor to the Faraja Medical Support Fund or because we feel that you maybe interested in knowing more about the Fund.

For the eight years that Faraja has been in existence, we have witnessed many patients leave our facility feeling better than when they walked in. The need and role for information, complementary therapies and support groups,  cannot be understated. A special thanks to our staff, volunteers and therapists for ensuring that patients and their carers receive hope, help and life through our free services.

However, the need for timely and good medical intervention is still paramount, especially now that the number of patients diagnosed with cancer in Kenya has risen from 20,000 to 40,000 annually.

We are delighted to share with you that out of our initial target of Shs100m for the Fund we have raised Shs83m to date. The Trustees of Faraja would like to thank everyone who has made this possible.

We are also delighted to celebrate new partnerships with cancer organisations, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies who have come on board to assist us by offering treatment at a reduced cost or donating medication for treatment.

It is now, more than ever, that we need to do our bit to help patients like Jane, who can now confidently complete her treatment thanks to the support she received from the Fund. Read more about her here

With your support we would like to accelerate the pace at which we can save lives and reduce suffering by helping patients get access to healthcare. All gifts into the fund will be invested and the interest earned will ensure patients receive the right treatment at the right time.

I welcome the opportunity to talk with any individual or company who would like to become involved. We believe strongly that no one should have to face cancer alone. 

Thank you all for your support.
Shaira Adamali
Founding Trustee
Faraja Cancer Support Trust

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Most cancers in Kenya are diagnosed late
Most cancers in Kenya are diagnosed late



Faraja Cancer Support Trust was set up in 2010 by Shaira Adamali, a cancer patient who got some of her treatment in Nairobi and some in the UK. Whilst undergoing treatment abroad she noticed a gap in the psycho social support in Kenya compared to what she received in England. This birthed the inception of Faraja, a charitable trust, based in Nairobi and soon to open in Eldoret, offering free complementary therapies to cancer patients and their care givers.

 Faraja’s main mandate initially was to provide information and therapies to aid patients through their chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments. However, with an increased cancer burden in Kenya, there is a higher demand for financial assistance for patients. This is largely due to the 3 reasons below:

1. There are only 14 registered oncologists in Kenya for a population of 45million (compared to 766 in the UK. This leads to an annual mortality rate of 27,000 a year due to cancer compared to 7 in 10 in the developed world.

2. Cancer treatment is hugely expensive – even for those who can afford it the resources are sparse.       Radiotherapy treatment in Kenya is offered publicly and subsidized at Kenyatta National Hospital, Kenya’s largest referral hospital. However, there are only 3 functioning radiotherapy machines and one frequently breaks down. This leads to a waiting list of over a year long. The only alternatives most patients have are private clinics which charge an average of $60-100 per session, a sum many cannot afford.

 3. During a conference for East Africa Insurance that was held in February of 2017, it was revealed that only 12% of Kenyans have medical insurance. This translates to about 480,000 Kenyans who have insurance covers out of the country’s over 40 million people population.


For these reasons, Faraja Cancer Support Trust launched the Faraja Medical Support Fund (FMSF)  on 12th November 2016 with the aim of developing an effective system which will enable adults and children with cancer to obtain the right treatment at the right time. This gives hope and a real chance of recovery as well as reducing the  suffering of many.

The treatment that Faraja funds is provided at  private and government institutions in Nairobi.  Faraja aims to raise Kshs 100,000,000 (US$1,000,000). A corpus of funds that, when invested, will ensure up to 50 patients receive treatment every year. The fund will cover medical costs such as surgery, brachetherapy , chemotherapy, radiation and hormonal therapy. The beneficiaries will be required to cover the initial consultation and the first 10% of the treatment plan. To qualify for a grant, individuals will submit an application form which will be vetted monthly by members of an expert panel. The selection criteria will be based on the financial status of the applicant, type of cancer, prognosis and age

A pilot project for the fund was carried out in 2014 from a donation given by Nakumatt Holdings during their October cancer awareness campaign, “Let’s Fight This Battle Together”.

The Pilot funded 42 grants to children and adults at the cost of Kshs 5,548,634 with an average grant of Kshs 137,270.Vincent is a recent beneficiary of the medical fund. The 41year old single father of three was diagnosed in January 2017 with a localized rectal tumour and urgently needed financial assistance to cover his chemotherapy, radiotherapy and colostomy (surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall). Through Faraja’s medical fund, Vincent is now on his way to recovery after receiving a grant for surgery and to cover the cost of therapy after the NHIF* rebate.


“If it wasn’t for Faraja’s support I do not think I would be alive right now. I am poor and I’m not employed. The help we receive saves lives and I am a living testament.”-says a cheerful Vincent.


Cancer can have a devastating financial impact on survivors and their families. Even if you have good health insurance coverage, your direct medical costs and related nonmedical expenses can quickly add up. Most direct medical costs resulting from cancer treatment (such as physicians' fees, hospital expenses, and pharmacy bills) are covered at least in part by basic health insurance plans.

The fund has now raised Kshs 80million. The funds raised were sourced from various supporters, sponsors and events. Some notable early adopters include Anthony Havelock, who organised the Natalie Blue Ball in London on the 10th of September 2016 in loving memory of his wife who passed on from metastatic breast cancer. The ball raised £110,000. A sub-fund within the FMSF called the Natalie Fund was created to financially assist young mothers with breast cancer. Gemma McRae and Johnny Limb also organised a fun golf day and fabulous Rio Carnival Ball at night. These two amazing events raised an additional Kshs 3.86 million shillings for the Natalie Fund. Faraja’s Founding Trustee, Shaira also did a  350km bike ride in October 2015 Tanzania and raised Kshs 14million for the Fund.

“I feel so passionate about this ground breaking initiative.” Quips Shaira


For more information on how to support our fund please visit us at HCG-CCK, Shivachi Road Parklands (next to MP Shah Hospital)

Weekdays: 8am-5pm



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October 14th 2017 event
October 14th 2017 event


                                                       What we have been up to: 2017 in review


It is already July and so much has been happening at Faraja. I thought I would give you a brief insight into the impact we have on the cancer scene in Kenya and how we plan to expand our services to other towns outside of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. We currently have 24 qualified and professional therapists who offer their services for free every week at our wellness centre in Nairobi, Kenya. This has increased our psycho/social support and our complementary therapies portfolio. A full breakdown of our therapies can be found on our website. Please log onto Our support groups have also grown from 3(breast, cervical and prostate) to 6 with the addition of Head and Neck, Multiple Myeloma/Lymphoma/Leukaemia and every Friday, at Kenya’s main referral hospital, we have the parent’s support group for the parents of in-patient cancer children. With increase support, we are able to makea positive difference in the journey of over 5,000 cancer patients.

Another milestone for us was the launch of the Faraja Cancer Support Fund on the 12th of November 2016. The vision is for children and adults who have been diagnosed with cancer in Kenya, to be able to access the right affordable treatment at the right time. This brings hope and real chance of recovery. The mission is to galvanise the support of a small but powerful group with the vision and capacity to come together and make a meaningful and long lasting impact by making donations into the fund. We are happy to announce that so far 70 million shillings has been raised and so far over 80 patients have received medical treatment from Faraja. The more the fund increases, the more lives we will be able to save.

A high priority over the next 6months is to reach out to more communities, located outside of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Eldorettown, has been chosen as our first new regional base which in time could see Faraja doubling the amount of people we help. The new outreach centre will be located at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH). MTRH is strategically placed in the heart of UasinGishu County in Eldoret town. It is also the second National Referral Hospital in Kenya after Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH). In 2015, MTRH commissioned the establishment of a chronic diseases center to deal with cancer and tuberculosis treatment. The center aims to ease the influx of cancer patients seeking medical assistance at KNH. This timely investment is in line with our vision of walking with cancer patients during their treatment journey by giving free complementary therapies, information and support.

I personally would like thank the whole Faraja family of supporters, staff, patients and partners who have helped Faraja to grow into the leader we have become today.  Our supporters, like you, have ensured that we have received guidance when needed, and nurtured us with advice and funds. By being there you have ensured thousands of people do not have to face cancer alone. As we celebrate 7 years of bringing hope, help and life to cancer patients, we are in awe from all the feedback we receive about our services which make a difference in the lives of those that need it the most

 Finally, we are excited to share with you information about a fundraising dinner in London on the 14th of October 2017. The dinner is being organised by two London based oncologists, Andreas Makris and Neel Bhuva and all proceeds will go towards the Faraja Cancer Support Fund. We would be delighted if our supporters in the UK are able to join us and to celebrate the lives we have saved together. The event will be held at the Wembley Hilton, Lakeside Way, London from 630pm to midnight.Tickets cost £70 and include a drinks reception, dinner, bar and a DJ to finish the night dancing away in style. During the evening you will have the opportunity to take part in a raffle, silent auction and a live auction. Bidding for the silent auction items will open 2 weeks before the event and continue throughout the evening. All the money raised on the night will go to the charity and there are some fantastic prizes on offer.

You can buy tickets via the website below. If you wish to secure a table please purchase 10 tickets.


Thank you for your continuous support.


Best Regards


Shaira Adamali- Founding Trustee

Head and neck cancer support group
Head and neck cancer support group
Launch of the Faraja Cancer Support Fund
Launch of the Faraja Cancer Support Fund
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At 32 years of age, Lucy was diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2015. Her plight began when she was pregnant with her second child and started bleeding heavily. Lucy thought it had something to do with her pregnancy and largerly ignored it and when necessary, managed the bleeding by wearing sanitary towels. She carried the pregnancy to term and expected that after delivery, the bleeding would stop.

Sadly not only did Lucy's bleeding not cease but she also lost her new born baby just three months after birth. A year later Lucy was pregnant again and this time her bleeding got worse. She felt constantly weak throughout her third pregnancy until the birth of the baby. Scared for her health, Lucy's husband decided to send her to a medical camp at Kenya's Narok town ( about 200 Kilometres from Kenya's capital city Nairobi). The medics at the camp advised Lucy to have a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding but advised her to first have further tests done. These tests revealed that Lucy had cervical cancer.

She would spend 5 months admitted at a Provincial General Hospital because her blood count was very low and she needed a transfusion. Once she had recovered, she begun chemotherapy, frightened by the fact that she did not have money for the consequent radiotherapy treatment. Lucy’s condition not only took a toll on her body but also on her family financially. The doctors advised Lucy to seek financial assistance from Faraja Cancer Support Trust, located in Nairobi.

Lucy and her husband saved enough busfare and made it to Nairobi where they consulted extensively with Faraja's Patient Support Manager, Phillip.  After having her reports reviewed by an oncologist, Faraja happily paid for Lucy's radiotherapy treatment. She has since finished all 30 sessions of radiotherapy.

Lucy and her husband say that they have found a home away from home at Faraja having been through numerous hospitals and faced a lot of frustration. Lucy says she feels confident that her treatment went well and is excited to  reunite with her young family.

Sadly, there are only two National Radiotherapy machines in Kenya which frequently break down. These machines, one of which is outdated, serves a population of 45 million Kenyans. With an annual mortality rate of 27,000 Kenyans, more support is needed to reduce the cancer burden in Kenya. On the 12th of November 2016, Faraja launched the Faraja Cancer Support Fund ( FCSF).

FCSF is a corpus of funds which, when invested, will provide a steady stream of income for Faraja and ensure at least 50 patients can receive life saving treatment every year, forever...patients like Lucy.

"I have faith in God that I will be healed. I have met other patients like meand I realise that I am not alone. With the support I have here atFaraja, I can see myself getting cured and going back to doing things for myself such as house chores and carrying my baby."

Learn more about our 6 year journey of giving hope, help and life click here


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Melvin and mum
Melvin and mum

                                                                     FARAJA AT 6


As we head to the festive season and the beginning of a new year, I thought I would share Faraja’s progress over the last 6 months. We are proud to have officially launched the Faraja Cancer Support Fund on the 12th of November 2016. It marks the beginning of a journey for cancer patients who can have now have access to life saving treatment and consequently, a real chance at recovery.


“If it was not Faraja Cancer Support, I would only help my child by giving him pain killers. We had no other way of alleviating his pain” – Melvin’s Mother, Margaret.


Melvin is a three and a half year old boy that we are currently supporting under our medical assistance program. He has early stage kidney cancer, which gives him a good chance at recovery if treatment is sought early. Lucky for Melvin, his mum took him to a referral hospital in Kenya’s Rift Valley called the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, after his constant stomach ache did not cease. Faraja works closely with oncologists around the country who send needy cases to us for financial assistance. Melvin’s mother fundraised to get bus fare for herself and her baby to travel to Kenya’s capital Nairobi and apply for financial aid. Melvin is currently undergoing 25 sessions of radiotherapy treatment that will cost about Kshs 200,000 ( $2000). All this has been made possible thanks to the generous donations made to the Faraja Cancer Support Fund.

Sadly, more help is needed to assist not only children like Melvin but also adults who are in need of medical assistance. The Faraja Cancer Support Fund has so far raised Kshs 60 million ( $600,000) The Fund’s goal is to raise at least Kshs 100million (US $ 1million) within 2 years. A corpus of funds that, when invested, will generate a perpetual stream of income for Faraja. This will give hope and a real chance of recovery, to children like Melvin and adults, fighting cancer, every year forever.


Top line statistics on the cancer scene in Kenya

  • 3rd leading cause of morbidity in Kenya
  • 1 in 10 children will survive compared to 85% of children in the UK
  • 27,000 annual mortality rate with 50 % of cancer diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales survive
  • 14 oncologists nationwide compared to 766 in the UK ( by 2014)
  • 45 million: population of Kenya.
  • 2 national radiotherapy machine. 1 frequently breaks down due to excessive use
  • KES 1,000 radiotherapy per session
  • 1-year average waiting time at Kenyatta National Hospital.
  • KES 8,000 radiotherapy per session at private clinics


We put together a video that highlights what Faraja has achieved now that we are celebrating six years of giving hope, help and life to cancer patients and their care givers. Click here to view it.

Where we raise and how we spend our money


Faraja Cancer Support Trust is a charitable trust that solely relies on donations for her operations. The Faraja Cancer Support Fund was an idea conceptualized from the need to have a perpetual stream of income for medical treatment. This allows our other fundraising activities ( White Water Rafting and Kenya’s Biggest Coffee Morning) to cater for our running costs. Initial deposits into our medical fund  came not only from my two bike rides ( 2013 and 2015) but also from cash deposits and donations via Global Giving’s match days and a community grant from the Roomera Foundation. We also had a successful golf day and carnival ball held in October 7th 2016 that was organized by a friend of Faraja in loving memory of a wife/friend who passed on from breast cancer. Proceeds from these two events went directly to our medical fund. Most recently, a popular restaurant in Nairobi published a cook book whose proceeds go directly to our medical fund. To view a full breakdown of our financial statement over the last six months click here


“I thought that I would become the families breadwinner after my mum was diagnosed with cervical cancer but thanks to the support we have received at Faraja, we have hope and hope is what we desperately needed”- Evelyn, 21 year old care giver to 53 year old Sibia Nyaboke.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and wish you a very Happy Festive Season and a very Happy 2017.

Evelyn and her mother,Sibia Nyaboke
Evelyn and her mother,Sibia Nyaboke
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Organization Information

Faraja Cancer Support Trust

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FarajaTrust
Project Leader:
Olivia Shah
Nairobi, Kenya
$76,816 raised of $100,000 goal
517 donations
$23,184 to go
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Pay Bill: 891300
Account: GG20120

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