Kibaki roots for better cancer diagnosis, treatment
Posted Tuesday, July 10 2012 at 16:31
President Mwai Kibaki has called for an enhanced data collection and information archiving system to help the government track and treat new non-communicable diseases that are affecting Kenyans and costing the economy millions of shillings each year.
The president, who was on Monday speaking at the opening of the Nairobi Cancer and Oncology Treatment Center said that majority of cancers are being diagnosed at advanced stages when minimal intervention is possible, a move that is leading to increased deaths from diseases that can be treated.
“There is need to come up with proper data and information archiving to help us understand the disease trends that are threatening our people,” he said adding that non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and hypertension are on the rise in the country due to changing lifestyles.
According to the Economic Survey of 2012, cancer featured among the top five causes of death among Kenyans.
It is expected that an enhanced data collection and information archiving system will be used to map out areas where non-communicable diseases are prevalent so that educational programs can be improved.
“This is urgent and should be matched by education on preventive measures needed to keep cancer at bay,” said President Kibaki.
The Economic survey shows that malaria led with 28,360 deaths, followed by pneumonia with 23,915, Aids with 12,176, cancer with 11,907 and tuberculosis with 11,679.
The president said that about 80 per cent of cancer cases are diagnosed at advanced stages and as a result, many patients usually undergo cancer treatment when it is too late.
Late last year Nobel Peace prize winner Wangari Maathai passed away after battling cancer and in March this year, Mary Onyango who was the Vice Chairperson of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission also succumbed to the disease.
Medical Services minister Anyang Nyong’o and Public Health Minister, Beth Mugo have disclosed that they are onr cancer treatment.
Other prominent Kenya nationals such as East African Community Permanent Secretary, David Nalo, the former chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, Samuel Kivuitu and veteran politician Martin Shikuku have also been diagnosed with various forms of cancer.
President Kibaki said that incidences of cancer have been increasing at an alarming rate adding that the government was fast tracking the finalisation of the Cancer Prevention and Control Bill to provide a comprehensive framework for the treatment and control of the disease.