The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester helped mark an ongoing partnership with Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral and Research Hospital (KUTRRH) in Kenya by taking part in the official opening ceremony. 

As well as signing a Memorandum of Understanding with KUTRRH 10 September, representatives of The Christie and University joined the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, virtually to celebrate the opening of the hospital and demonstrate how the link will help improve cancer outcomes in the African nation. 

President Kenyatta’s official opening of KUTRRH will see Christie clinicians and The University of Manchester researchers work with colleagues in Kenya to help improve cancer services in Nairobi. All parties worked closely with Kenyan High Commissioner to the UK, Manoah Esipisu, who helped establish the the five-year partnership which was announced in February 2020. 

The Christie and The University of Manchester will assist KUTRRH through access to education and training opportunities, procurement advice, capacity building support and the agreement of clinical protocols and guidelines. The University of Manchester will also support KUTRRH on various research projects and collaborations across the five years. 

Professor Richard Cowan, clinical lead for the partnership, said: “We are delighted and honoured that The Christie was involved in the opening of this wonderful new hospital in Kenya.

“We believe that our partnership will allow us to help our colleagues at KUTRRH provide an excellent cancer service and that by sharing expertise we can help cancer services not just here in the UK, but worldwide. 

“The Christie has a strong tradition of making education a key part of what we do, and we hope we can help foster this with our colleagues in Kenya so that they are able to achieve more positive outcomes for their patients.” 

Professor Keith Brennan, Associate Dean for Internationalisation, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester, said: “As an institution, we’re delighted to be part of this project and looking forward to playing a key role in its future alongside The Christie and KUTRRH. 

“The opening of this new hospital by the President is a huge step forward in developing what we hope will be the foundations for future, groundbreaking cancer research not only in Kenya, but across the whole of the East African region. 

“Cancer is a key Research Beacon for The University of Manchester and this partnership will allow our institution, The Christie and KUTRRH to collaborate, share and improve our expertise for the benefit of patients and their outcomes in all our regions.” 

In recent years, through its international arm, The Christie International, the Trust has supported a wide range of international projects. These include service transformation and supporting the opening of a new radiation oncology centre in Ireland, technical input into oncology procurement to support the development of oncology services across 11 states in India, specialist oncology advice in China, as part of the Northumbria International Alliance, and helping to train doctors from Kazakhstan. 

The University of Manchester is  recognised globally for its cancer and health research. Cancer is one of the University’s research beacons which sees examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships, such as this one, tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet. These include research collaborations with high calibre overseas institutions and strategic partners across Asia, North America, and Australia. 

For further information and to find out more about access to education and training opportunities through The Christie International Affiliate Programme, please visit our website section for The Christie International.  

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England. 

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