The Cancer scourge in Kenya

By Mutemi Andrew | Monday, Aug 12th 2019 at 11:03
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Cancer has been one of the terrible diseases in Kenya. The World Health Organization (WHO), through the ministry of health as revealed that 90 people die daily of cancer. This has risen worries to the cancer experts where stomach and colon cancers are increasingly afflicting Kenyans, especially the younger ones. This has made cancer to be ranked the 2nd leading cause of death globally, registering 9.6 m deaths in the previous year.

Cancer has mercilessly taken some of our big people in our country, Kenya. With the recent incident, the Safaricom Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bob Collymore, went too soon from the blood cancer (Leukemia) as from the doctors’ report. Many well-up cancer victims have been forced to seek some medical attention abroad due to lack of surgery equipment and skilled cancer specialists in our country.

Narrowing down to our counties, cancer has been devastating, killing many people in the villages. Some incidents from our villages go undocumented this bringing assumption that cancer only kills rich people. For instance, in Kitui county, between 400 and 300 deaths of cancer are reported yearly. Doing some interview with Doctor Mwangi Joseph of Kitui referral hospital, said that there had been increased cancer cases in the hospital.

Some acute cases go unattended, but instead, they are referred to bigger hospitals in Nairobi for Special attention. Too many cases of patients from the remote dispensaries where they lack screening machines, many of the patients are treated for other ailments, leading to delayed diagnosis. This makes some patients survive cancer unknowingly until it gets worse in their 30s and 40s and rarely in 20s.

“In our records, we have been receiving cancer victims nearly every week. Some victims don’t even realize they are suffering from cancer until we do some screening. When we diagnose the disease in early stages, it easily curable, but when it is in advanced stages, we opt to refer our patients to more specialized hospitals with surgery machines for intensive treatments.” Doctor Mwangi added. 

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