Stigma,high cost of management-key challenges facing cancer survivors

Stigma, discrimination and high cost of cancer management are some of the challenges cancer survivors face in their daily lives.
Speaking on Tuesday during a free cancer screening exercise courtesy of Nakuru’s First lady Elizabeth Kinyanjui and Nakuru hospice, the survivors commended Nakuru Hospice for the good support.
Sylvia Bwibo- a cancer survivor says she was diagnosed with cancer at stage 2B but through chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
She calls on the society to stop stigmatizing cancer survivors but rather give them the support they can.
“Cancer survivors as well as patients suffer a lot of stigma from society but I would want to call on the society to embrace them since we are one family” said Sylvia.
Sentiments echoed by Mary Njeri-another cancer survivor who also commended Nakuru hospice for the support.
The four days free cancer screening exercise kicked off on Tuesday even as leaders call for full implementation of the cancer prevention and control bill 2015.
Addressing media during the exercise, Nakuru county First lady Elizabeth Kinyanjui reiterated the importance cancer screening.
She added that there was need for government to make it mandatory for people to go for cancer screening.
“We thank you members of the public who have come here for screening and we continue to urge members of the county to come for screening. In my opinion, screening ought to be made mandatory just as we have immunization for our children.
The Nakuru County First Lady added that just the same way Hiv –Aids education was incorporated in the national curriculum, there was need to include cancer education in the curriculum.
According to her, this will enable children develop a sense of awareness at an early age and also pass the same to those who lack the knowledge on cancer.
While noting the high cost of cancer treatment and management, Mrs.Kinyanjui stated that it was worth to note that the intention by the national government to construct a cancer centre in Nakuru level five hospital would save lives.
She added that the county government of Nakuru will continue to ensuring that cancer patients get the necessary medical attention in existing facilities.
The function was also attended by Nakuru County Director of Medical Services Dr. Solomon Sirma who stated that the county department of health is in the process of compiling data for all cancer patients in the country after which they will be forwarded to the national government.
Dr.Sirma added that in the next one year an ultra modern cancer management centre will be established at the Nakuru level five hospital.
PHOTO/Courtesy:Cancer Survivor

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