Homa Bay County Assembly wants the government to have periodic cancer screening on residents for early detection and treatment.
In a motion passed by the Assembly on Wednesday, the county government was told to set aside funds for building cancer centers in Homa Bay to enable residents get easy access to treatment services.
The county government had set aside Sh.2.5 billion for health services for the financial year 2018-2019.
The Nominated MCA, Amina Ismail who tabled the motion told the county government to organize campaigns to educate residents on cancer detection and treatment.
“Most people in the county are unaware of different kinds of cancer. Most of them detect the disease when it is in its final stages, a time when nothing can be done to it. I therefore appeal to the government to offer screening services at the grassroots level,” she said.
Ismail argued that constant downing of tools by health workers in Homa Bay county hospitals negatively affected cancer patients.
She further called on the government to employ medical workers to be moving from home to home teaching residents on cancer management.
The MCA said cervical and prostate were the main cancers that women and men in the region suffered. “There is a need for the county government to collaborate with local administrators like chiefs and village elders to reach rural homes to educate residents on dangers of cancer,” she stressed.
MCA Osuri Omoro (Ruma Kaksingri) and her nominated counterpart, Susan Onyango told the government to declare cancer a national disaster.
“The disease has affected and killed thousands of Kenyans. It has left many families grieving. The government needs to proclaim the disease a national disaster because it has left many families poor,” he said.
Ms. Onyango said most people in Homa Bay were living below the poverty line which makes them unable to get access to cancer treatment services and called on the government to set aside special funds for helping cancer patients.
“Early detection of some types of cancer can be managed and treated. However, most people die because of poverty. The government should have a special allocation for helping poor residents to access cancer treatment,” said Ms. Onyango.
The Nominated MCA, Millicent Nyaboke periodic cancer screening faulted the government for not providing anti-cancer drugs at government hospitals which forced residents to travel to other counties in search of the drugs whenever they suffered the disease.
“Absence of drugs at government hospitals is an infringement of the right to good health. The government needs to change the way it is dealing with cancer treatment,” said Nyaboke.
By Davis Langat