THE POOR MAJORITY AFFECTED

Government should give free cancer treatment

Declaring these diseases a national disaster will create a huge impact, which the deaths of political and corporate leaders and the rich have not

In Summary

• Only universal medical care can guarantee that no one goes untreated for lack of money.

• It is not until we declare cancer and other killer diseases that enough money will be allocated for their elimination.

Cancer patients at the Coast General Hospital
EPIDEMIC: Cancer patients at the Coast General Hospital
Image: PILI CHIMERAH

With the havoc it is wrecking in the country, the government should provide free treatment to all cancer patients.

But it must not stop there. Other diseases such us HIV-Aids, diabetes, malaria and heart diseases are also rampant, the government should, in fact, offer free medical services for all.

The point is, only universal medical care can guarantee that no one goes untreated for lack of money.

 

To curb cancer, which has not only claimed leaders and the superrich but also so many other people — American Cancer Society estimates there will be 1,762,450 new diagnosed cancer cases and 606,880 deaths in the US — the government must be ready to treat all killer diseases as a collective national disaster that should be given not less than one third of national resources.

It is not until this is done that enough money will be allocated for their elimination.

Declaring these diseases a national disaster will create a huge impact, which the deaths of political and corporate leaders and the rich have not despite wide media coverage.

If the deaths of the poor majority were getting bigger coverage, the government would be compelled to declare these diseases national disasters, thus better funding. By now, cancer and other diseases would be a withering or dying national disaster.

Unfortunately cancer deaths of the poor are not seen by leaders and the rich as an emergency.  There, is therefore, no serious efforts to screen the poor or discuss their deaths when they happen. To the leaders and the rich, no money should be spent on dying poor.  

Treating “cancer of the rich” as a national disaster is misleading because disease such as malaria are even killing more poor Kenyans.

And still at that, the medical needs of these leaders and their families are taken care of by insurance covers , and they are easily flown to India for treatment.

 
 
 

As for the poor patients, their National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) can hardly fly them to India, even with their neighbours’ poor Harambee contributions.

 I for one cannot afford to be tested and treated for cancer because I am paid no pension, my NHIF is inadequate to take me to India or Europe and the government has refused to pay me and other victims of torture our compensation to even take us to Nairobi, Aga Khan or Mater hospitals.

A government cannot claim to fight disease if it won’t pay money it owes its people.

Though cancer needs early detection for successful treatment, early testing and treatment will not be possible for those who are too poor to pay for them, even when government will not rescue them with public funding.

Early cancer screening and treatment must be availed to all Kenyans by government and only this will eradicate this disease from our society, regardless of social and economic status.

To eliminate cancer, the government must also protect Kenyans from chemicals that insane people are injecting into the foods we eat. To make quick money, some business people are killing us with mercury in sugar, Round Up in maize and wheat, formalin in milk, Panadol in githeri and microwave ovens for heating our foods.

A government that is not protecting its people against these chemicals is not fighting cancer and other diseases.

Cancer centres will not succeed if they are not protected against corruption that will eradicate them before they eliminate cancer.