NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 16 – Public Health and Sanitation Minister Beth Mugo has revealed that she is out of danger after successfully going through breast cancer treatment in the United States.
She told a press conference in Nairobi on Friday that quick treatment after early detection of cancer had helped to tackle it.
“I am really in good health. I am well and my treatment has gone very well. My doctors are very pleased. I thank you for your prayers; it is your prayers that healed me,” she appreciated.
The minister said she would continue with medication.
“The treatment I am receiving now is really preventative to make sure that this disease will not recur in future. That takes a little bit longer.”
While she was undergoing treatment in the US she managed to hold discussions with partners who she said pledged to support Kenya’s cancer centre.
“Being in the US has provided me with an opportunity to even further what we have been doing in the past. I held meetings and discussion with various institutions and individuals to forge partnerships to set up a cancer centre here in Kenya,” she said.
Through her personal experience, Mugo said she has learnt the importance of early detection and treatment of cancer insisting that it is curable if discovered in early stages.
“Breast and cervical cancer if discovered early can be cured, early detection really helps. If cancer is presented at later stages, then you are trending on a dangerous ground,” she advised.
Mugo’s pledge and aim is to ensure that cancer screening services are availed in all Kenyan health centres to facilitate early detection and treatment.
She urged the Treasury to release the proposed Sh300 million in the supplementary budget to finance cancer prevention programmes in the country. “We are asking for that money so that we can start this programme and stop our mothers and sisters from dying.”
Mugo also warned people who ignore possible signs of cancer and urged them to go for frequent check ups. “Our women wait until they feel something hurts. Cancer does not hurt until very late, and there cannot be a more worthy initiative than saving mothers from breast and cervical cancer.”
Mugo’s sickness caused a lot speculation especially in the social media at a time when Kenya had lost two key leaders, John Michuki and Njenga Karume who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The Dagoretti MP who is in her early 70s, is the latest minister to publicly talk about cancer after her colleague Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o who is fighting prostate cancer.
It is estimated that Kenya is recoding 80,000 new cases of cancer every year.
Stakeholders in cancer programmes have been urging the government to provide more cancer facilities for detection and treatment and also look for interventions that can bring down the costs involved in dealing with the disease.