High court advocate calls for National Cancer Census


High Court Advocate Karen Nyamu has called on the government to carry out a National Cancer Census immediately and consequently declare it a national disaster.

Karen who is also a board member of the Nairobi Water Company has urged Health CS Cecil Kariuki to quickly institute plans that will see cancer statistics updated, arguing that the current stats are six years old.

“The cancer statistics available are 6 years old and they indicate that cancer accounts for 7% of overall mortality rate.We know the prevalence has multiplied,” Karen said.

She argued that the government should have taken advantage of the August national census to collect new statistics on cancer related issues.

Kenya is among the leading countries in Africa on matters cancer diagnosis but unreported cases due to lack of access to treatment remains to be a big challenge.

The city based lawyer is in this case proposing a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary approach in handling the matter.

She said that adopting the initiative will help the government setup a special fund for cancer screening, treatment and palliative care ,boost cancer health education for early diagnosis and create room for better sensitization of effects of cancer and lifestyle choices to make.

She is further proposing setting up of cancer diagnosis centres in all level3,4 and 5 hospitals, increasing accessibility, affordability and quality treatment, regulation of local and imported goods and products, funding of local research on cancer and implementation of the National Cancer Control Strategy 2017-2022

Nyamu said that she will present the memorundum to the ministry and if possible have discussions with the CS on the way forward.

She also called on County Governments to invest heavily in cancer diagnosis.

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