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Meru MCAs want hospital bills for cancer patients who die waived

By Phares Mutembei | October 1st 2021

Meru MCAs want the cost of cancer drugs to be lowered to ease the burden on poor patients and the government to waive medical bill for those who succumb.

Speaking after passing the Meru Cancer Institute (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which now awaits Governor Kiraitu Murungi’s action, the MCas said cancer had rendered many families in Meru poor.

Patrick Muthuri (Abothoguchi West) said government hospitals should not detain bodies of cancer patients due to unpaid bills.

He said affected families are forced to sell land for treatment costs, travel and other costs, and their financial situation gets worse when patients die.

Kiegoi-Antobochiu MCA Kimathi Ithibua (pictured) and Nkuene’s Martin Koome said managing a chronic disease was expensive.

“Cancer is ravaging Meru more than others (counties). I attend fundraisers all the time. Patients go for specialised treatment in Nairobi, which many cannot afford,” said Koome.

Mr Ithibua and Health Committee Chairman Martin Mworia said there was need to expeditiously conclude a research at Kiegoi, Riaki and Buuri where cancer prevalence rates are reportedly high.

“We want the research to establish if, as it is claimed, that pesticides and asbestos used in buildings in Kiegoi are to blame,” Ithibua said.

Mworia said the first mandate of the Cancer Institute Board will be to cluster Buuri, Igembe and Imenti to establish cancer types in the areas and causative factors.  

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