Kenya launches cancer awareness campaign

NAIROBI: An annual campaign geared towards creating awareness on cancer was launched yesterday in Nairobi.

Kenya Cancer Association launched the Relay for Life, which also seeks to create awareness on the importance of seeking early diagnosis and treatment. Reports indicate that over 40,000 new cases are diagnosed annually across the country.

The event is to be held from October 10-11.

According to the association’s chairperson, Ann Korir, the reason thousands continue to die of cancer annually is due to lack of knowledge.

“Why are people dying of cancer. Two key things: late diagnosis and inadequate treatment. If cancer is diagnosed early it is treatable and the survival rate is high. Unfortunately, today in Kenya and most African countries, cancer is being diagnosed very late when treatment is less effective,” Korir said.

She pointed out that the cost of treatment is high in private hospitals given that public facilities barely have enough resources to support the cancer burden.

“We want to call upon private hospitals and the pharmaceutical industry to reduce the cost of treatment for their products and services. This will allow more Kenyans to access treatment in private facilities and reduce the number of people travelling to India,” she added.

Relay for life will be a 24-hour event held at Nyayo Stadium and will bring together stakeholders in the industry as well as well-wishers.