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Breast cancer a ticking time bomb in Kirinyaga

There's God o!

Oct. 29, 2020

In Summary
• The figures were given by the county chief officer for Health Stanley Muriithi in a speech on behalf of Health executive Gladys Kimingi. • The county government announced plans to set up a cancer centre.
Participants in a procession during a breast cancer awareness campaign in Kerugoya town, Kirinyaga county, on Wednesday. Image: WANGECHI WANG’ONDU
Participants during a breast cancer awareness campaign in Kerugoya Stadium, Kirinyaga, on Wednesday Image: WANGECHI WANG’ONDU
Some 250 women in Kirinyaga county have breast cancer but only less than 10 per cent are aware of their condition. This was revealed by the county chief officer for Health Stanley Muriithi in a speech on behalf of Health executive Gladys Kimingi. Muriithi spoke on Wednesday at Kerugoya Stadium during a breast cancer awareness campaign. The meeting was preceded by a sensitisation walk around Kerugoya town. October is the world breast cancer awareness month. The officer said most cancer patients discover their condition at an advanced stage when their health is already deteriorating. He pleaded with residents to go for regular medical checkups — an exercise he said is ongoing in all the 64 health facilities across the county. Muriithi called for healthy lifestyles to keep noncommunicable diseases such as cancer at bay. “This includes eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and cutting down the rate of alcohol indulgence,” he said. To lower the rate of cervical cancer spread, he emphasised the need for parents to allow their daughters who are less than 10 years to be administered with anti-cervical cancer vaccine. Muriithi also announced the county government’s plan to set up a cancer centre in the area. The revelation comes amid the ongoing construction of the county referral hospital (level 5 facility) in Kerugoya town. Once completed, the hospital, through increased capacity, will boost healthcare, including oncology services. Also present were nominated MCA Lucy Njeri and several breast and cervical cancer survivors who urged the county government to reduce the cost of treatment and make drugs available and affordable. “In the county assembly, we have crafted the cancer policy bill to lessen the burden on the patients. One of the ways we can subsidise the prices of drugs and make them available is through cutting their costs via a finance bill,” Njeri said. According to findings by the World Health Organization, breast cancer affects an estimated two million women per year. In 2018, about 627,000 died of breast cancer.
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