Bomet leaders petition government on rising cancer cases

KANU Secretary General Nick Salat during the burial of his cousin Joyce Chepkirui Salat at Siwot Village in Bomet East. Chepkirui succumed to cancer. [Gilbert Kimutai/Standard]

Bomet leaders have appealed to the national government to step up the fight against cancer.

Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat and Chepalungu MP Gideon Koskei, speaking at Siwot village in Bomet East on Saturday, condemned the rising cases of cancer and urged county and national governments to prioritise war against the disease to save Kenyans loss of life and money.

The leaders spoke during the burial of Mr Salat's cousin Joyce Chepkirui Salat, who died of cancer.

"It is sad that we are burying a victim of cancer every other time. The Government should do much more to address this matter. Parliament, too, has a role. MPs must speak for the millions of Kenyans, some of who are suffering in silence," said Salat.

Salat asked the National Assembly, through Leader of Majority Aden Duale, to pass a Motion compelling the Government to allocate more funds to fight the disease. He also wants a health inspectorate set up to boost these efforts.

Mr Koskei said the Government should stop the controversial housing project and direct its funds towards fighting cancer.

He said while the project was a good idea as majority of Kenyans are still struggling to get proper housing, the war on cancer was more urgent.

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"The housing project is not as urgent as stopping cancer. Many Kenyans are desperate as others are impoverished because of cancer," the MP said.

Also present were deputy governor Hillary Barchok, Roads and Infrastructure PS Julius Korir and former area governor Isaac Ruto.

Mr Korir urged Kenyans to embrace the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) to cushion themselves in cases of sickness strikes.

"We all need to enroll for NHIF, as it will come in handy in lessening the burden of meeting the cost of treatment," he said.

Barchok called on Kenyans to ensure they were screened for various forms of cancer to ensure early detection.

"It is sad machines installed at Longisa County referral hospital are lying idle because residents do not turn up for screening," he said.

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Bomet leadersNick SalatGideon KoskeiCancer