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Govt urged to declare cancer a national disaster

10 October 2013, 12:34 Robert Etakwa

Nairobi - Kenya Cancer Association (KENCASA) is now calling on the government to declare cancer and other non-communicable diseases a national disaster.

The Association’s Special Advisor, Kipkoech Siele, also called on the government to immediately implement the National Cancer Prevention and Control Act 2012, to help combat the spread of the disease that continues to claim lives of many globally. He spoke amid heightened campaigns for cancer screening in an effort to arrested the disease at its infancy stage.

The country’s celebrated environmental icon the late Prof. Wangari Maathai, Literary author the late Margaret Ogola, Former National Cohesion and Integration Commission Vice Chairperson Mary Onyango, and former world’s computer guru, the late Steve Jobs are just among those who have succumbed to cancer locally and globally.

Siele further said the latest statistics paint a bleak future when it comes to matters cancer, indicating that approximately 18 000 people succumb to cancer yearly, yet its medication remains all time high.  In the case of Kenya, drugs prescribed to cancer patients remain expensive, with a day's dosage costing around KES 10 000, an amount that remains out of the reach of the many ordinary Kenyans.

“With this state of affairs, time has come for the government to declare cancer and all non-communicable diseases a national disaster,” Siele urged.

He added that the association is also rooting for public-private partnerships, if the fight against the deadly disease is to be a success.

Siele faulted the government for failing to implement the National Cancer Prevention and Control Act 2012, which he said could have gone a long way in combating the cancer menace.

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