Machakos County joined the rest of the world in commemorating 2017 World Cancer Day and used the opportunity to roll out cancer campaigns in every ward in the County. The campaigns usually involve screening of common cancers in the region such as cervical and breast among women and prostate cancer for men. “After covering all the eight sub counties, we now engage another gear to reach all the forty wards in the County”, said Lilian Nganga, Machakos governor’s wife who was the chief guest. Other local leaders gave their support to the initiative, “investigations for cancer are relatively expensive but today the screening is free thanks to governor’s wife initiative”, commented a women leader.

February 4th is usually a day to remember those who have been affected by cancer in the world. Machakos County was commemorating this important day at the Kenyatta stadium by giving a window of screening to the residents of Machakos town. In line with the theme “We can I can”; “we have roles collectively and individually to fight and reduce the burden of cancer in our society”, said deputy director health, Machakos County.  “With change of lifestyle 30% cancer cases can be prevented”, she continued. The county in partnership with Kenya Cancer Association (KENCASA) made the day a success where over 400 patients were screened. “Cancer affects the patient, family and the nation at large”, said Mary from KENCASA.

Health education is an important element in prevention and treatment/care of cancer which is well understood if given by the affected persons. “Cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence”, said a cancer warrior. “Currently I am a student at Nazarene University to prove one can function like others even if he suffers the disease”, she informed the gathering. She asked the leaders present to set up cancer treatment centres locally since cancer treatment/care has proved to be very expensive to most citizens.

The chief guest thanked the planning committee she works with and pointed out that the commemoration of 2017 World Cancer Day was a celebration of the work done by the planning team. “Supporting cancer patients or their families is in all aspects; you can visit the affected, pray with them, take them out, play with them and offer food or other materials”, said the chief guest.