KISUMU, Kenya, Aug 5 – The County First Ladies Association (CFLA) has identified 8 counties in the country to carry out a pilot project aimed at addressing the high prevalence rate of cancer with estimates showing the disease accounts for up to 7 per cent of annual mortality in the country.
The counties where the pilot is set to be rolled out are Kisumu, Nakuru, Kakamega, Bungoma, Laikipia, Meru, Taita Taveta and Makueni.
CFLA Chairperson, Nazi Kivutha, the First Lady of Makueni County Monday said the pilot will seek to reserve the alarming rate at which cancer is claiming lives in the country.
Kivutha said the First Ladies have resolved to join the government and other relevant agencies in finding solutions aimed at addressing the scourge of cancer.
“We are also lending a voice in making sure that we have detected, we have prevented, and we have treated cancer in all the counties,” she said.
Speaking to the press after visiting Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital, Kivutha announced that they are working in partnership with other donor agencies to help Kenyans fight cancer.
“In partnership with Roche pharmaceutical company, Women 4 Cancer and Africa Cancer Foundation will be implementing the Enabling and Motivating Partnership Owned by Women to Engage and Reclaim their lives (EMPOWER) project.”
Kivutha said EMPOWER seeks to contribute to the prevention, early diagnosis, treatment with standard care and education of women in the community on cervical and breast cancer.
“The project aims at developing ad creating EMPOWER clinics, advocating in counties to priorities cancer care and treatment and strengthening the health care systems for treatment in the counties,” the Makueni First Lady said.
Prior to their visit to Kisumu, CFLA visited Nakuru.
More visits have been planned in the remaining six counties to evaluate existing structures on caner management and care.
Dorothy Nyong’o, the host First Lady said the commitment CFLA had made towards addressing cancer is real and unstoppable.
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Peter Okoth, called for more investments in the fight against cancer.
“We have to invest a lot in the whole dimension of cancer treatment,” he said.
“Primary prevention means creating of awareness and having a strong presence in secondary prevention which is screening then of course treatment”.
Okoth noted that top five leading cancers in Kisumu include cervical, breast, prostrate, esophageal and colorectal cancer.