The Cancer Prevention and Control (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was overwhelmingly supported by Members of Parliament during the recent debate
The bill was Sponsored by Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga, seeking to amend Cancer Prevention and Control Act 2012 to include cancer treatment as part of the provision of primary healthcare.
Ms. Wanga wants the National Cancer Institute allowed to train medics including, pediatricians and radiologists. Further, the vocal lawmaker wants the institute to collaborate with the Health Department to train oncology nurses, physicists, and other healthcare providers.
If the bill is favored, passed, and assented to by President Kenyatta, it will shower a great relief to thousands of cancer patients who will travel to Nairobi to get quality and affordable treatment.
Several leaders in the house shared their concerns about cancer.
Kathiani MP Robert Mbui observed and termed the bill as progressive, reiterating how cancer affects everyone and there should receive dire efforts to tame it.
Nyandarua Woman Representative Faith Gitau also said cancer treatment should be at the basic level to ease the disease burden in the general population.
“One of the problems we have had in this country is the late detection of cancer. This bill, if passed, will ensure that cancer detection and treatment is done at the lowest community level,” Ms. Gitau said.
The Siaya’s Christine Ombaka expressed the need of cutting screening costs in the health facilities to make reach out to many Kenyans financially disadvantaged.
“Treatment of cancer is expensive. That’s why many people fear going to the hospital. We need to ensure that we reduce the cost in our hospitals,” Dr. Ombaka said.
The bill also proposes and seeks mass training of oncologists, who will then be available to many people. Rural areas are the main target, currently lacking access to specialized medics.
The bill further champions for e-health and telemedicine in the prevention and treatment of cancer to enable doctors across the country to share information on cancer treatment.
The fight against cancer is a must-win battle and Ms. Wanga is gladly on point.
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