French solidarity fund for innovative projects (FSPI)

2022 - 2024 (24 months)



Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of primary liver cancer and ranks 3rd worldwide in terms of mortality. In 2020, there were 905,667 new cases and 830,180 deaths worldwide. In Kenya, HCC is the 11th most common cancer and the 9th leading cause of cancer death.

Over 60% of HCC cases in Kenya are associated with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and occur early in life. Although universal HBV vaccination was introduced in 2003?(MOH, 2002), a large proportion of the population is still unvaccinated. Other risk factors identified but often overlooked in prevention practices include hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a parasitic viroid of HBV, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, known to precipitate the onset of liver complications, and finally, an environmental risk factor, aflatoxin B (AFB1), which a mutagenic food mytoxin. These risk factors are considered preventable. Surveillance and early detection therefore increase the chances of potentially curative treatment.

Salle d'opération, Pérou

© IRD - Stéphane Bertani


The overall objective of the project is to improve diagnostic and therapeutic offers for chronic liver diseases in Western Kenya in order to improve the well-being and health of the population in line with the WHO agenda to eliminate chronic hepatitis by 2030, the Kenya National Cancer Control Policy (2019), and the Non-Communicable Diseases Prevention and Control Strategy (2013, 2021).

Specific objectives:

  • Capacity building of Health professionals through awareness initiatives and training to acquire clinical skills for early diagnosis of chronic liver disease and HCC
  • Transfer of liver surgery technology from Peru to Kenya (South-South collaboration)
  • Set up of new laboratory activities to improve epidemiological surveillance and diagnostic capacities of chronic liver diseases at MTRH


IRD scientific coordination: Stéphane Bertani, researcher IRD.


The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs is funding this project as part of its FSPI programme.