, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – Twenty five percent of new cancer cases reported in Kenya annually are affecting children according to statistics released by the Kenya Medical Association on Thursday.
The association’s national chairman Elly Nyaim said 70 to 80 percent of the cases are unfortunately diagnosed in late stages, where little can be done to save life.
He was speaking while launching a five-month campaign at the association’s headquarters dubbed ‘Children for Children Cancer Campaign’ that is set to increase public awareness on the disease in the country.
“Cancer is another silent killer in the country today. It is reported to be the third highest cause of death after infectious and cardiovascular diseases in our country,” he stated.
“This trend needs to be reversed. This can only happen when we debunk the myths and silence around cancer by spreading awareness so that people can live longer, healthier lives.”
The campaign is geared towards involving children in activities that will raise funds towards the treatment and support for children affected by the disease, which is responsible for over 22,000 deaths in Kenya annually.
“This campaign is aimed at mobilising resources from the public and private sector to address specific gaps in awareness creation and early detection of cancer,” he stated.
The campaign will run from this month to culminate in the World Childhood Cancer Day on February 15, 2015 with a variety of activities including games and prayers at the Kenyatta National Hospital and county referral hospitals.
“Corporate organisations are invited to complement the children’s effort and to partner with KMA in this programme including adopting a child for treatment where possible,” he appealed.
Nyaim assured that the association will continue to play its role in creating awareness and equipping health workers on latest cancer management techniques.