The Africa Cancer Foundation, Matibabu Foundation and the Kisumu County government are set to launch the Western Kenya Cervical cancer campaign in the lakeside city Wednesday.
The campaign is meant to create awareness about the deadly but preventable disease in all the 14 counties in the Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) catchment.
Kisumu County Communication Chief Officer, John Oywa stated in a press invite that the 14 counties include; Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia, Busia, Nandi, Kericho, and Bomet.
Oywa explained that the forum will provide a golden opportunity for the media to have a one-on-one interview with cancer survivors, leading cancer ambassadors and families of the victims, on how best to handle such patients.
He said the campaign will run through January, which has been dubbed as Cervical Cancer Awareness month and is projected to reach over 10 million people.
“More than 25,000 pairs of medical scrubs will be donated by Matibabu Foundation to Health workers across the country over the next several weeks to engage them as ambassadors of the campaign,” he explained.
“The ambassadors will hold conversations with patients, friends, and families about cervical cancer,” added Oywa. Subsequently, members of the public have been urged to turn out in large numbers for the free cancer screening and vaccination exercise.
Cervical cancer ranked as the leading course of female cancer deaths in Kenya, yet it is treatable with early screening and timely intervention.
Over 50% of cancer patients have been diagnosed too late and so the awareness forum has come at the most appropriate time for the victims.
Oywa revealed that the International Organization through UNICEF, and National Vaccines and immunization programs are coordinating 850,000 Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccines for all hospitals and clinics across Kenya.
The dignitaries expected to grace the occasion at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) include Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, his wife Dorothy Nyong’o, and the CEO Matibabu Foundation, Dan Ogola.
By Joseph Ouma and Joseph Otieno