County First Ladies Association’s Chairperson Maria Mbeneka has called on the need for a deliberate intervention to ensure cancer treatment was accessible to all.
Speaking at Longisa County Hospital during the launch of a Mammogram to help in the screening of breast cancer patients, she petitioned the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) to consider providing medical coverage for cancer patients to undergo Chemotherapy.
Laikipia county first lady said the war against cancer in the country will only be won once treatment was accessible and affordable to everyone.
Mbeneka said many patients were suffering helplessly without treatment because of the high cost involved.
She reached out to the Council of Governors to intervene and save hapless cancer patients majority of whom had surrendered to their fate as treatment of the terminal ailment was beyond their reach.
“NHIF only covers some Chemotherapy sessions and because it is very expensive many patients stay away due to financial constraints leading to adverse repercussions including deaths,” said Mbeneka.
Mbeneka who accompanied Bomet County First Lady Seline Barchok during the launch at the same time said early screening should also be prioritized to help in fighting the deadly disease.
She said if only Kenyans could take screening seriously cancer can be contained through early detection to control spread of the antibodies to critical body organs.
“If cancer is detected early its treatment is possible and the cost is also not high and that is what we should turn our focus to ensure as many Kenyans turn out and get screened,” Mbeneka added.
Mbeneka also urged Kenyans to take responsibility and watch their eating habits to avoid exposing themselves to lifestyle diseases.
“Where possible as a country we should change our lifestyle and take healthy diets to avoid exposure to related disease such as cancer,” she said
Barchok challenged residents to come out and get screened to establish their status to be on the safe side before it was too late.
The county first lady has taken the lead in reaching out to girls and women in Bomet to undergo the screening for breast and cervical cancer adding that early detection was key in the management of the disease.
“We should change our ways of dealing with cancer as a country. We know how the disease has ravaged the country and our approach should be screening and early treatment,” she said.
She said it was appalling how Kenyans were taking cancer casually by waiting until it was too late to effective manage the disease.
“We can save ourselves a lot by screening and treating cancer in the early stages, rather than waiting for it to get chronic and then we rush to try and treat,” she said, adding that there was no harm for a whole family to go screen for cancer.
Bomet Governor Dr. Hillary Barchok who hosted the association reiterated the need for locals to enroll for health insurance coverage adding that his administration through Universal Health Coverage had already registered over 10,000 households to NHIF scheme.
“As a country we are now moving out of our comfort zones and ensuring that everyone get screened,” he said.
Barchok said the health department will be organizing events to do mass screening in all sub-counties.
“Our staff will be moving out and ensuring that many people as possible get screened and those who return positive results are advised on how they get treatment,” said Barchok.