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Aflatoxin blamed for cancer cases

Health & Science

County woman representative Florence Kajuju wants a cancer screening and treatment centre set up in the county.

Noting that cases of cancer have risen, she called on the county government to set aside funds for the centre to save the public the hassle of having to travel to Nairobi to access the same.

Her call came as Health Executive William Muraah attributed the increased cases to aflatoxin.

Ms Kajuju said enough funds should be available to enable residents to be screened in any of the nine sub-counties.

She said through the Florence Kajuju Foundation, she has hosted several screening camps, and would like other stakeholders including the national and county governments to complement her efforts.

"Meru County has more cancer patients than any other in the country. The number of cancer patients from Meru seeking treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital is worrying. It is now killing more of our people than even HIV and Aids," said the MP, as she urged the county government to establish a special kitty to address the challenge.

"Children are now among the many new cases. It was not always so. We need research done to establish the prevalence of the disease in all our sub-counties," said Kajuju.

Dr Muraah said some of the cancer cases in the Imenti region were caused by poor grain storage.

"Storing of grains in wet conditions leads to formation of aflatoxin, which in turn causes cancer," said Muraah.

He said the Government was addressing the problem by providing grain dryers to farmers, adding that 15 per cent of patients seeking radiation therapy treatment at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi were from the county.

He said liver cancer was on the increase in Imenti Central and Imenti South due to poor storage of grain.

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