Cancer kills 28,000 per year, says Mochache
More than 28,000 Kenyans die of cancer every year with an estimated 37,000 new cases reported annually, Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache has said.
Speaking during the National Cancer Survivors Day held in Nakuru yesterday, she said that cancer was not just a global problem but a local one too noting that it was the third cause of death in the country.
She said that infectious diseases were the number one cause of death followed by cardiovascular and cancer, adding that the government had put in place measures to ensure that Kenyans are cushioned from the high cost of treatment.
One of the measures, she said, is the establishment of the National Cancer Control Strategy which is geared towards guiding the country in cancer management and care.
“We are putting in place very specific interventions towards preventing and control on the existing factors and resources that we have…,” she said.
“As a government, we are working hard to ensure that through a very strategic and systematic approach we are able to reduce cancer cases and deaths. And also ensure that patients get necessary care and attention,” she stated.
“What we need to lay our emphasis now as a country is a prevention by making that our lifestyle is a lifestyle that prevents cancer such as exercising… if you can walk, please walk,” said Mochache.
The PS, who was accompanied by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui urged Kenyans to go for medical checkups periodically, noting that many people wait until it is a little bit too late then they go to the hospital.
“When you see something that is not normal in your body, please go to hospital do not wait until when you experience full-blown cancer symptoms,” she said, adding that many patients go to hospital when the disease has already progressed.
“It is not a death sentence so we do not have to lose thousands of lives that we are losing, in fact, we should reduce that number,” she said.
During the function, Mochache also officially opened Nakuru County Referral and Teaching Hospital Regional Cancer Centre.
She described the launching of the cancer centre as a milestone for the country and especially the South Rift region in the fight against the disease noting that the centre has been equipped with modern radiography machines.
Nakuru Level 5 Hospital Medical Superintendent Aisha Maina traced the journey towards the establishment of the facility to 2018 noting that it started with ten patients only.
“As of today, I can gladly say we have treatment more than 4,000 patients,” she said.