Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) in Nairobi has acquired an
ultra-modern Positron Emission Tomography (PET) CT scanner and
Cyclotron, a first in East and Central Africa.
This pace setting equipment is
currently being installed and a comprehensive staff
training programme is underway to prepare the launch in
“Aga Khan University Hospital
continues to be at the front of the fight against
non-communicable diseases through evidence-based
medicine backed by res-earch, a team-based approach
and modern technology,” said Shawn Bolouki, Chief
“Patients will no longer have to
travel to India or abroad to get this service as it
will be available right here in Nairobi.
“The technology was acquired at an
approximate cost of US $ 6 Million equivalent to Ksh
600M, and will revolutionise diagnos-tics and treatment
in the region,” Professor Sudhir Vinayak, Chair,
Department of Radiology at Aga Khan University Hospital
explained, “A PET CT scan is an imaging test that is
used to diagnose diseases, plan treatment, to find out
how a condition is progressing and to see how effective
treatment is on the disease.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) CT scanner and
“This combined technology will change
diagnostic medicine in the region.”
“It will enable doctors to identify
health threats at the cell-level thus giving them the best
view and time of treatment for complex diseases such as
cancer and heart diseases, brain and other central nervous
system problems, thereby improving treatment outcomes.
“A cyclotron is a type of compact
particle accelerator used to produce small quantities of
radioactive isotopes, a substance required for the PET
“Information generated from PET CT
scans enables oncol-ogists to make better treatment and
follow up plans for cancer patients.
“In certain cancer situations, this
information is critical in making decisions regarding
treatment options including surgery, radiation therapy and
chemotherapy,” explained Dr. Asim Jamal, Section Head
Medical Oncology at AKUH.
“This technology can reveal the
presence and stage of cancer, including whether and where
the cancer has spread to, and help doctors decide on
“PET/CT also give us an indic-ation of
how well chemotherapy is working and can detect a recurring
tumour sooner than any other diagnostic modalities,” he
While an MRI and CT scan shows how a
particular part of the body looks, a PET/CT scan can reveal how
it is functioning.
This is an important aspect for
cardiologists and cardiac surg-eons too as it enables them to
detect which parts of the heart have been damaged or scarred.
“It can also help identify blood and
oxygen circulation problems in the heart.
PET/CT scan technology is also
critical in neurosciences especially in the diagnosis of
neurological conditions such as dementia and epilepsy.
“PET/CT service will be offered as an
outpatient procedure, unless the patient is already admitted
to the hospital, and lasts for at most 30 minutes”,
Profe-ssor Vinayak concluded.
The acquisition of this highly
specialised system by Aga Khan University Hospital, the only
Joint Commission International accre-dited hospital in Kenya,
reaffirms its premier status as the leading provider of quality
clinical care, teaching and research in sub-Saharan Africa.