Health CS Kariuki: Cancer claiming 33,000 Kenyans annually

Embu County Commissioner Abdulahi Galgalo and Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki during a forum at Mutuovare market in Mbeere South, Embu County. [Joseph Muchiri/Standard]
The Ministry of Health has developed a cancer policy and is breaking it into guidelines that will be issued across the country aiming to mitigate the rising number of cancer and cancer-related complications.

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said about 33, 000 Kenyans are succumbing to cancer and cancer-related health complications annually.

She added over 48, 000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year, noting that management of cancer will only be possible if effective early screening and early detection is observed.

Ms Kariuki said the national government in partnership with the counties is doing everything possible to ensure the worrying trend of cancer deaths is contained.

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She said cancer requires a multi- agency approach where both levels of government respond to the policy and the guidelines the ministry has developed.

Ms Kariuki who led a moment of silence while distributing relief food at Itiira Secondary school in Mbeere North, Embu County in honour of departed Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso called on Kenyans to go for early screening to detect the disease early when its treatment and management is easier.

She lamented that the country has lost key and important leaders such Laboso, Kibra MP Ken Okoth, Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore alongside thousands of other Kenyans to the disease.

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“Cancer is not only a concern in Kenya but globally. Kenyans should be mindful of their health status through adopting more promotive and preventative measures of health care. They should go for early detection of the non-communicable disease,” she said.

On the strike by medics in Kirinyaga County, the CS said the county government should hold dialogue with the staff and reach an amicable resolution on the issue of the CBA to alleviate the suffering of patients.

Mbeere North MP Muriuki Njagagua, who is a member of National Assembly health committee promised to support the cancer bills being prepared by Laikipia Woman Representative Katherine Waruguru and her Homa Bay counterpart Gladys Wanga.

He said the bills entail declaring cancer a national disaster and to accord free cancer treatment.

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Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily KariukiCancer