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‘Cancer Is A Death Sentence’, Argues Kenyan

Died of cancer: Former Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore (far left), former Electoral Commission of Kenya Boss Samuel Kivuitu and Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai

Kenyans are an interesting people who always have something to occupy their minds intensely but only for a short time.

This week even some village dogs will get cancer as names to replace Simba and Tomi. But next week everybody will be onto something else.

Cancer will go to the archives.

Many people have talked about cancer, some from their own experiences. I have just heard from a panelist in a local TV station that cancer is not a death sentence. Call me a pessimist or a skeptic but I dont believe so.

The person who has just uttered those words is right. This is the kind of person who goes abroad for PET SCANS….that medical technology that captures the ONSET OF CANCER. Such a mwanakenya can arrange for PET SCANS every six months. That way cancer will be captured off guard and given the right treatment. (.But of course cancer can be the proverbial….there is many a twist between the cup and the mouth. It is quite a capricious monster however careful one may be).

For the majority of Wanakenya starting with me, CANCER IS A DEATH SENTENCE!!!

And that is why our leaders should be stressing on preventative measures to protect Wakenya against cancer onset in the first place.

Eighty five percent (85%) of all cancers are thought to be caused by frustrations coming from stressful living. And we are all prone to stressful living. It could be that go getter after some deals or business explosion or that jobless graduate, hawking jackets after his graduation party turns into a dirge. The degree takes him nowhere. His academic dwarf primary school classmate has a flourishing mtumba boutique where he makes Kshs. 10k a day. This paper graduate cannot get a mtumba job because these are now kinship jobs. Now these two Kenyans are likely to come down with either of the following: colorectal, stomach/small intestine cancer, brain,or acute leukemia.

Other Kenyans may be courting cancer because they are frustrated in their family/marriage relationships…breast, cervical, prostate, lung cancers find a home there.

A peventative measure would be to equip wananchi with moral education to inculcate values and virtues to guide them in their life.

The other measure is for the state to ensure there is social justice for all. Kenya is a capitalistic state yes but it does not mean some people make themselves the “for all of you” in that African fable. It is good to have much but we should not lose sight of what happened to that greedy hyena who had his rear parts sewn up to ensure the sweetness of the honey did not escape. Or the Dead Sea that has no outlet.The Supreme power we all acknowledge gives the same amount of air to all his people to show he wants use to live in a sober society but not where the gap between those who have acquired and those who have not got that chance is too wide.

It is a recipe for a cancer epidemic for all.

Back to my statement that for Wanjiku and those holding onto monthly salaries and they are many, CANCER IS A DEATH SENTENCE. Why?

  1. I dont think there is any level 6 referral hospital that can test for over 200 different types of cancers, or is there? I am only a lay person so you can excuse me for wrong guesses.
  2. Granted we are able to screen for all the cancers and one is diagnosed with one of them.

What is the way forward?

To be put under either of the three conventional treatment modes or all of them: Surgery, Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy.

Where can one have these ones done fast enough to arrest the cancer? I dont know but those in the know should let us see the waiting list for all these at the former King George the 6th Hospital, now KENYATTA NATIONAL HOSPITAL. Can we safely call it is THE PRIDE OF KENYA?

Now you know that for 90% of Kenyans the raw truth is CANCER IS A DEATH SENTENCE.

And can I say this even as you call me a pessimist who does not appreciate the grounds Kenya has covered in the Universal Health Care (UHC). Cancer is not Homa (common cold). And those who dismiss it as such have not had a taste of it or lived with relatives with it.

Our use of euphemistic language will not alter some raw facts . Cancer is a capricious monster but the good news is that we can prevent its onset because that is the best option. Not screening and treatment. These are secondary.


This is a very welcome idea especially to help those living with the disease. For Wanjiku and the many pensioners out there and any other Kenyan whose medical insurance is NHIF only and the many unlucky kids, something should be done.

Kenyans should get, FREE CANCER TREATMENT in fully equipped public level 5 and 6 referral hospitals. Just like we have free treatment for HIV/AIDS and TB.

Of course that means a reorganization of the government budget to cater for such unproductive project. Well, the outcome is pleasant.


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