Cervical cancer is one of the leading cancers in Kenya according to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey (KDHS) 2014. , The annual number of cervical cancer cases was 4800 while on the other had the annual number of deaths was 2451. In 2018 the numbers might increase due to poor lifestyle choices and insufficient awareness on healthy lifestyles.
Creating awareness on health promotion, prevention of diseases and early treatment is a vital component that makes it possible for more women to be informed about cervical cancer and take the necessary tests so as to know their status.
Globeathon is a movement by people from all over the world working to raise awareness for, and ultimately increase early detection and prevention of gynecological cancers.
In Kenya, Globeathon walk was introduced back in 2013 by a local nongovernmental organization called Women 4 Cancer Early Detection and Treatment (W4C). The organization was formed to address the stigma associated with Cancer through Educative Communication Campaigns, Encouraging Early Cervical Cancer Testing, and Improvement of Cancer Recovery Rates by the year 2020.
This year, the Globeathon cancer walk took place on 28th January 2018 at the Karura forest reserve where hundreds of participants turned out for the cancer walk. The participants were engaged in warm-up fitness session by Shiverenje Simani a Fitness expert and Gym Instructor before embarking for the 15-kilometer walk in the forest.
The charity event was graced by several health government officials including the chief guest Hon. Dr. Hitan Majevdia, County Executive Committee Member (CECM) Health Minister Nairobi County, Dr. Anne Ng’ang’a head of National Cancer Control Strategy, Ministry of Health. Other guests were Paralympic Gold Medalist, Henry Wanyoike, Catherine Ndereba-Gold Medalist Marathoner, County first ladies -Taita Taveta, Garissa and Isiolo, Standard Media Group Representatives and Stuart Clay- Ibis Styles General Manager. Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) also took part in the charity walk.
“This walk has helped over the years to connect more people in raising the profile of cervical cancer prevention and action for early detection”, said Benda N. Kithaka, the Chair, and Co-Founder (W4C). She further appreciated the growing partnership with different companies that have helped spearhead different projects and also the volunteers for being more engaged and expanding their abilities to manage a world-class event such as the Globeathon.
More than 3800 women have benefitted directly from the funds raised through receiving free quality cervical cancer screening (Pap smear tests/ HPV) and clinical breast examination while over 180 women have been treated for pre-cancer or infections and 18 women with early-stage cervical cancer have received navigation for the full treatment.
Patients with cancer also require palliative care in order to provide relief from the symptoms and stress while undergoing treatment. Therefore Kenya Hospices and Palliative Care Association (KEHPCA) has been working together with like-minded organizations including Women for Cancer to fight this epidemic.