Government should invest more on preventive rather than curative measures on cancer pandemic.
A Public health officer working with Murang’a Level -5 Hospital, Danson Mwendia said education among other strategies on how residents can avoid contracting cancer is very crucial.
Mwendia said public health officers should be empowered to sensitise Kenyans on what causes cancer and how they can protect themselves from the diseases.
Cancer in the recent past has claimed many lives, including those of prominent persons in the country.
The officer speaking to KNA from his office observed that investing on curative measures is expensive and in most cases cancer patients succumb to the disease.
“Medication procedure for cancer patients is very expensive and not many Kenyans can afford the treatment. What the nation can do is to help Kenyans to avoid contracting the disease,” he added.
Preventive measures, he said are cheap to implement compared to high costs incurred to cure cancer which is not always guaranteed.
Mwendia said cancer patients usually know they have the disease when it’s quite late making it hard to get fully treated.
“Institutions which check on quality of foods among other items should make sure what is being sold at supermarkets and hotels are free from aflatoxins and carcinogens which are main causes of cancer
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) should be more vibrant in inspecting foods being sold in supermarkets, milk from vendors and standards of imported foods and other products before they get to consumers,” said the Public officer.
Public health officers, Mwendia noted, should spread awareness on unhealthy eating habits that pose risk in contracting cancer.
“The officers should also give advice on the types of food to eat and which to avoid. Excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking of tobacco should be discouraged as they are also attributed to cause cancer,” he added.
The health officer noted that pollution emitted by industries should be contained as some chemicals from manufacturing firms are dangerous and may cause sickness to people.
For early detection of cancer, Mwendia observed cancer screening should be made compulsory for everybody aged 45 years and above.
“Once detected at early stages, cancer can be treated but its unfortunate people go for screening when the disease is at advanced stage making the treatment quite impossible,” he further noted.
He advised Kenyans to do regular exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, saying during vigorous training sweat is released, toxins and waste products are emitted from the body.
By Bernard Munyao/Stephen Githaiga