Juja MP Francis Waititu says that about 63 members of the national assembly and the senate are suffering from cancer.
“The situation is serious. We have for example about 63 MPs and thousands of other Kenyans suffering from cancer. We must get out and talk about it boldly.” he said.
The MP commented on this after many of his family members were affected by the illness, causing them to spend millions of money on treatment.
Mr Waititu himself has suffered from brain cancer, but it was detected earlier and he was treated and declared cancer free back in March.
Upon his return, he said that he had met nine other legislators and four senators in India for treatment.
“I met hundreds of cancer patients from Kenya alone. Among them were nine of my fellow MPs and four Senators. The cancer scourge is enormous and we can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand. We must get out and talk about it,” he said.
Despite of the early detection, the Juja MP still stayed in hospital for 7 weeks and spent about 8 million shillings on treatment.
Francis Waititu said that he cannot keep burying his head in the sand as the burden of the disease is more than anyone can bear.
The national assembly health committee chairperson, Sabina Chege does however dispute the figures saying that it is less than 63.
Cancer has become a national epidemic in the country for some time now. According to the government health records, approximately 10,000 people travel abroad annually for cancer treatment.
We have heard of many big government officials suffering from the disease including the late Migori Senator who recently died from throat cancer.
Waititu says that there is need for prominent government officials to speak about cancer, including those suffering from it, in order to fight the stigma.