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Cancer statistics worrying

Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has revealed that 33, 000 Kenyans were succumbing to cancer and other cancer related health complications annually.

Kariuki who led a moment of silence at Itiira Secondary school in Mbeere North to Joyce Laboso, said that over 48, 000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed every year.

She regretted that the country has of late lost to the disease key and important leaders, Ken Okoth who until his death last week was the Kibra Member of Parliament and Governor Laboso who have been battling with cancer.

The CS challenged Kenyans to be mindful of their health status through adopting a more promotive and preventative measure of health care.

Kariuki emphasized on the need of early detection of non-communicable diseases especially cancer which is not only a concern in Kenya but a global concern.

“Management of cancer will only be possible if effective early screening and early detection is observed,” noted CS.

The CS who was distributing relief food in Mbeere Sub County said early screening helps to detect the disease hence its treatment and management becomes easier.

She added that the ministry had developed a policy and is breaking it into guidelines that will be issued across the country as a way of mitigating the rising number of cancer and cancer related complications.

“We are doing everything possible to ensure this worrying trend is contained though we cannot do it alone as a national government. The health docket is devolved and so we are doing this in partnership with counties,” she observed.

She noted that cancer being a global issue and mostly related to lifestyle and negative environmental impact; it requires multi-agency approach where both levels of government respond to the policy and the guidelines the ministry has developed.

On the issue of striking health staff in Kirinyaga County, Kariuki said the county government should have a dialogue with the staff and reach an amicable resolution.

“The best way is to hold a dialogue and discuss the issue of CBA since the person who suffers in the stalemate is the ordinary mwanachi,” she noted.

Mbeere North MP Mr. Muriuki Njagagua, who graced the event sent a message of condolence to the families of Okoth and Laboso, adding that cancer is a disease that need serious government intervention.

Njagagua added that being a Member of the Parliamentary Health Committee he will support the cancer bills being prepared by the Laikipia County Women representative Catherine Waruguru, and her counterpart Gladys Wanga from Homabay.

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

By Kimani Tirus

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