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No. of cancer patients increasing in Kenya, Aflatoxin found in contaminated food


Devdiscourse News Desk Nairobi
Updated: 12-08-2019 15:56 IST
No. of cancer patients increasing in Kenya, Aflatoxin found in contaminated food

The cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and transmitted through sex took the lives of 5,250 women in 2018. If not checked, it is estimated that it will kill 6,000 lives by 2025. Image Credit: Storyblocks

According to the World Health Organization, 90 people die every day out of cancer in Kenya. This disease has become one of the most life-threating diseases in Kenya.

Around 22 people have been diagnosed with cancer who have received free screening at Mama Lucy and Mbagathi Hospitals in Kenya's capital, Nairobi. Two suspected cases have been referred by doctors for further analysis following an exercise in which over 300 people have been screened so far since Monday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has notified Kenya's Ministry of Health about the rising number of cancer patients across the country. The cancer experts believe that stomach and colon cancers are severely afflicting Kenyans, mainly the younger ones.

At the Mama Lucy Hospital, 7 women were diagnosed with breast cancer while one man was found suffering from prostate cancer, whereas another 12 women were discovered suffering from cervical cancer at Mbagathi Hospitals in Nairobi. The cases are said to be at manageable stages.

According to some experts, rising cases of cancer, mainly cervical cancer in Kenya are likely to be linked consumption of food, mainly maize. Researchers have found the presence of aflatoxin in maize, which increases the risk of cervical cancer. "More than four billion people are exposed to aflatoxins in their foods, mainly maize and ground nuts and mainly in Sub Saharan Africa," a study reveals. The presence of aflatoxin is also detected in milk and sorghum samples including 95 percent of maize in Nairobi.

Cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and transmitted through sex took the lives of 5,250 women in 2018. If not checked, it is estimated that it will kill 6,000 lives by 2025.

Bob Collymore, the Chief Executive Officer, Safaricom said, "cancer has mercilessly taken some of our big people in Kenya." According to Standard Media, he too soon from Leukaemia (blood cancer) as from the doctors' report.

"In our records, we have been receiving cancer victims nearly every week. Some victims don't even realize they are suffering from cancer until we do some screening. When we diagnose the disease in early stages, it easily curable, but when it is in advanced stages, we opt to refer our patients to more specialized hospitals with surgery machines for intensive treatments," Dr Mwangi Joseph of Kitui referral hospital said in a media conversation.

Despite the fact that Kenya has marked herself as the first east African country to treat cancer patients using Halcyon radiotherapy system, still many rich cancer patients have been forced to seek medical attention abroad due to the scarcity of surgical equipment and highly-skilled cancer specialists in Kenya.

Also Read: Kenya stops importing vehicles, declares stern action against officials for importing

COUNTRY : Kenya