'NOT A DEATH SENTENCE'

UHC should include long-term solutions for cancer patients

WHO states 70% of cancer patients from the lower class die due to poor lifestyles and failing to use cancer screening tests

In Summary

• In most cases, cancer is undiagnosed or misdiagnosed especially for patients who cannot seek medication from quality health centres. 

• Safaricom's Bob Collymore said being diagnosed with cancer is not a death sentence. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of Universal Health Coverage in Kisumu
RESTORE HOPE: President Uhuru Kenyatta during the launch of Universal Health Coverage in Kisumu
Image: PSCU

Several types of cancer can be prevented if detected at an early stage.

Basically, the stage of detection is the line that separates the survival and death of cancer patients. Former Safaricom chief executive officer Bob Collymore said cancer is not a death sentence and once one is diagnosed, they should remain hopeful and believe in the treatment.

However, it is this treatment that the lower social class tends to lack. In most cases, cancer is undiagnosed or misdiagnosed especially for patients who cannot seek medication from quality health centres. Even when the medication they have been given does not seem right, they would go back to the very same hospitals to seek a change of medication, only realise the menace when they opt for the costly hospitals to save a life at death point.

 

This usually leaves families depleted of savings and in huge debts. Even when they manage to know their cancer status, The World Health Organization states that approximately 70 per cent of cancer patients from the less fortunate societies die due to smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyles or failing to use cancer screening tests.

It is definite that Kenya cannot provide free long-term health services that cancer patients need. But President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Universal Health Coverage will go a long way in keeping patients alive longer. The government should declare cancer a national disaster and seek aids from developed countries to reduce the number of people dying from cancer.

This would also give hope to a reason after being diagnosed with cancer that they are not just a statistic and treatment is possible. They would then lead healthy lifestyles because they have several options for treatment.

Siaya