NATIONAL DISASTER

Governors appeal to Uhuru over killer cancer disease

In Summary

• Governors have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare cancer a national disaster.

• Their calls come after the Health CS Sicily Kariuki said the data available is insufficient to make such a call.

Governors present during the burial of the late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso in Kisumu County on August 3, 2019.
Governors present during the burial of the late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso in Kisumu County on August 3, 2019.
Image: FELIX KIPKEMOI

Governors have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to declare cancer a national disaster.

Council of Governors Chairman Wycliffe Oparanya on Saturday said that Bomet Governor  Joyce Laboso, Kibra MP Ken Okoth and Safaricom former CEO Bob Collymore had succumbed to the disease within a month was a wake-up call.

Their calls come after the Health CS Sicily Kariuki said the data available is insufficient to make such a call.

 
 
 

According to Kariuki, for the country to reach a point of declaring cancer a national disaster, there has to be sufficient, scientific and solid data built over a period time.

Health CS Sicily Kariuki
Health CS Sicily Kariuki
Image: MAGDALINE SAYA

Oparanya noted the key challenge as the cost implication it has on the victims.

"According to the latest report by the National Cancer Institute of Kenya, cancer is most prevalent in Kisumu, Kakamega, Nyeri, Nakuru, Bomet and Uasin-Gishu counties, " Oparanya said.

"Patients pay between Sh500 to Sh1, 000 per session for radiotherapy in state-run hospitals while chemotherapy costs Sh6, 000 to Sh600, 000, depending on the drug used.”

According to Oparanya, this is not achievable for the average Kenyan hence the need to rethink the costs.

The CS last week noted only President Uhuru has the authority to make such a declaration.

Despite the COG making the demand in his presence, the head of State avoided commenting on the matter.

 
 

On Thursday, cancer patients and survivors petitioned the National Assembly and the Ministry to declare the disease a national disaster.

They said the ministry should not wait for more people to die so that they get numbers before doing so.


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