Fighting cancer has never been easy. In a country with graft, scandals are at the forefront of humanity and every man for himself, coming together for a common course is close to impossible.
A recent report by the National Cancer Institute of Kenya (NCI-K) has revealed heartbreaking details of cancer prevalence in the country. According to the report, of 4,380 people diagnosed with the disease annually, only 29 make it out alive, with new cases reported to have increased from 41,000 to at least 47,887 cases annually. Of this number, 32,987 succumb every year, an increase from 28,500 deaths recorded previously.
NCI Acting Chief Executive Officer Alfred Karagu appearing before National Assembly’s Health Committee said breast and Cervical cancer ranks high in new cancer infections, listing Esophagus cancer as a number one killer, claiming at least 4,351 deaths every year.
Nairobi, Kisumu, Meru, Mombasa, Kakamega, Kiambu, Nyeri, Nakuru, Bomet, Embu and Eldoret as having been affected by the leading three cancers including Prostate, Esophagus and Colorectal cancer. 32 men out of 100,000 suffer from prostate cancer while in women, breast cancer leads with 37.4 women in every 100,000 people in Nairobi County.
Kisumu, Kakamega and Central region of Meru and Nyeri were reported to having the highest cases of oesophagus cancer. With only 35 oncologists in the country, efforts to carry out adequate awareness as part of prevention measures for the disease are almost doomed.
Homa Bay Women Rep had tabled a bill proposing cancer treatment to be primary health care available in all health centres which upon adoption could help detect cancer at its early stages and counter it almost immediately. MPs have also been pushing for the establishment of cancer treatment centres in each country, as part of the mandate of the county government.