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Residents urged to undertake regular cancer screening

Nyamira residents have been advised to undertake regular cancer screening and start early interventions and treatment if diagnosed with the disease.

Making the appeal while presiding over the marking of World Cervical Cancer Week in Nyamira Town, Chief Officer for Primary Health Care in Nyamira County Moenga Momanyi noted that the disease is very costly to treat and manage when detected at a late stage.

“Our people have unfortunately not embraced the culture of regular medical checkups and testing not just for cancer but any other disease, especially the non-communicable diseases which attack our bodies stealthily and can only be detected when they have extensively spread in the body organs to irreversible levels,” the chief officer observed.

He said that medics specialized in cancer treatment and management in the country are overwhelmed because the number of cancer patients has grown exponentially.

“Few families which are economically well off fly their patients out of the country for specialized cancer treatment while some mobilize resources or sell out their entire investment to try and save the lives of their loved ones. But when cancer is detected early, it is treatable and fairly affordable by even households of low economic standards,” Moenga explained.

The Clinical Officer in charge of the Cervical Cancer Center in Nyamira Referral Hospital (NRH) Caroline Oteko confirmed that they have cancer screening apparatus in all the sub-county hospitals and at NRH but residents were still skeptical about undertaking cancer tests. She hinted that majority of residents associated cancer with witchcraft and this myth has led to the loss of many lives because they opt to seek alternative medication and only come too late for medical intervention at hospitals when the disease has reached an advanced irreversible stage.

“Mothers with girls aged between 10-14 years should bring them for vaccination against cervical cancer for early prevention against contracting the disease as they age. We are providing free cancer screening this month in all our sub-county hospitals for people to know their status early,” Ms. Oteko appealed.

She confirmed that in January, they were having a free cancer testing where they have managed to screen 1045 clients 24 of whom have tested positive and they have been advised to start treatment immediately because it is a journey.

This year’s theme of World Cervical Cancer Week is ‘Learn, Prevent, Screen’ which emphasizes the necessity of educating people with knowledge about cervical cancer risks and life-saving.

By Constance Esther and Christabel Adhiambo

 

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