Kakamega County residents have been encouraged to go for regular cancer screening so as to get timely treatment for the killer disease. Speaking Tuesday during a two-day free breast and cervical cancer screening camp at St. Elizabeth Hospital Mukumu, the hospital’s Administrator Sister Agnes Maulo said early diagnosis enable early stage detection of cancer when it is treatable.
Ms. Maulo noted that screening can prevent further development of the disease by finding early lesions which can be treated or removed before they become cancerous.
“We are targeting mothers between 18 and 60 years because they are the most vulnerable to the disease,” she explained.
The medical officer in charge of the hospital Dr. Mercy Omondi lamented over the low turnout for screening in the country.
According to statistics by the Ministry of Health, the national uptake of screening stands at 16 percent.
The statistics also rank cancer as the third leading high mortality disease in Kenya followed by infectious diseases, with cervical cancer as the top cause of death among women followed by breast cancer.
Dr. Omondi said there was need to bridge the gap between screening and medication, adding that most cancer cases are diagnosed late when nothing much can be done.
She called on the National and County governments to work in hand in hand with the health facilities to provide education and community outreach activities that encourage screening.
The medic stressed the need to empower and hire enough patient navigators and Community Health Workers (CHVs) to fast-track the dissemination of on cancer screening and treatment.
By Sammy Mwibanda/Remigius Maloba