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Nurse From Kenya Visits Fox Chase Cancer Center To Study Cancer Care in the United States

PHILADELPHIA (November 5, 1999) -- Rose Abira, a nurse from Eldoret, Kenya, spent a month with nurses at Fox Chase Cancer Center to learn about the delivery of chemotherapy and radiation to treat people with cancer. Ms. Abira is helping her community hospital develop a cancer care clinic.

Abira says only one hospital in the capital, Nairobi, offers cancer treatment. It not only provides cancer care for all of Kenya, but also neighboring countries. An appointment for cancer treatment can take up to three months. If the cancer is diagnosed late, often a patient doesn't live long enough to make it to receive treatment.

The nurse came to Fox Chase on an International Oncology Nursing Fellowship through the International Union Against Cancer. The program is funded by the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS), the Norwegian Cancer Society, and the Association of UICC Fellows.

Ms. Abira has a fierce dedication to caring for cancer patients. In 1995, she mobilized community leaders to form a hospice to care for terminally ill cancer patients and also those suffering with AIDS in her community.

"Until hospice care was offered, people were left to silently suffer," said Ms. Abira. The hospice is now successfully operating and a new building has been constructed to house the administrative staff.

After developing the hospice, Ms. Abira turned her attention to caring for those diagnosed with cancer who could be helped with treatment. When she returns to Kenya in November, Ms. Abira will help her hospital recruit an oncology doctor in order to get the cancer clinic into operation. "God will prevail and do the rest."

Ms. Abira knows the battle ahead will be a tough one. "I don't know why I shouldn't try to put things right," she passionately added.

"We're glad Rose chose to come to Fox Chase Cancer Center," said Joanne Hambleton, Director of Nursing Services at Fox Chase. "As a leading cancer care center in the nation, we were able to share the very latest information and data concerning treatment. Several of us at Fox Chase will continue to communicate with Rose to help her achieve her mission. Her dedication is tremendous."

Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of 36 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the nation. The Center's activities include basic and clinical research; prevention, detection and treatment of cancer; and community outreach programs.


Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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