Nyeri County to offer free breast cancer checks for 30 days

Nyeri Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu (right) is enlightened about breast cancer screening by radiographer Margaret Kagi (second right) at the Nyeri Referral Hospital yesterday. [Kibatia Kihu, Standard]
The Nyeri County Referral Hospital will offer free breast cancer screening for the next 30 days.

The mammogram examinations were launched by Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu as part of breast cancer awareness campaigns.

October has been designated the Pink month as part of global efforts to tackle the disease.

Dr Karugu said breast cancer was the leading cancer in the country, with almost 6,000 new cases and more than 2,500 deaths reported annually. “This makes it the third-leading cause of all cancer deaths in Kenya. Seven women die every day,” she said.

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According to the Nyeri County Cancer Registry, at least 60 per cent of cases reported are breast cancer.

Karugu, who is the patron of the Universal Health Coverage Progamme in the county, said health services such as early screening for cancer would be free for women registered under the pilot project.

The tests

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She said between April last year and March this year, only two mammogram exams were performed each day at the hospital due to lack of awareness.

Karugu described the 30-day screening campaign as a great milestone and opportunity for the county.

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She said the campaign would target more than 10,000 women aged 40 years and above.

“There will be a matatu ferrying women from across the county each day to the referral hospital for education on mammography screening and thereafter for a mammography exam."

She continued: "As the ambassador for this campaign, and having recently turned 40, I will be the first to take my first mammogram exam after this event."

The deputy governor said that while many women relied on self-examination to detect breast cancer, mammography screening was the only method that had been proven to be effective.

County Director for Health Services Nelson Muriu said Nyeri women were mostly affected by breast, cervical and stomach cancers.

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