Source: Cancer Bill
Updated Thursday, June 14 2012 at 08:56 GMT+3
By Peter Opiyo, Steve Mkawale and Allan Kisia
Parliament passed a Bill that will see the Government enhance the fight against cancer, a disease that kills about 18,000 people annually.
MPs endorsed Cancer Prevention and Control Bill to establish a body that will deal with prevention, treatment and control of cancer.
Nyaribari Chache MP Robert Monda, who is also Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Health, authored the Bill that establishes an institute charged with ensuring that the killer disease is wrestled and awareness created to keep it at bay.
The Bill establishes National Cancer Institute of Kenya that will encourage and secure establishment of hospitals, vocational treatment and care centres for treatment and taking care of patients.
According to studies by Kenya Medical Research Institute, cancer comes third as a major cause of deaths. The Bill tasks the institute with keeping a national registry. Among the information to be featured in the register are frequency, type and geographical location in which the disease is prevalent.
It would also contain information on institutions, associations and organisations that provide care and services to cancer patients. The Bill makes it mandatory for any hospital that treats a cancer patient to deposit the same information with the institute within 14 days of diagnosis. Failure to submit the information is an offence that attracts a fine not exceeding Sh200,000 or a jail term not exceeding two years.
Medical Services minister Anyang’ Nyong’o lauded the passage of the Bill saying cancer was a dangerous disease that continues to threaten lives.
“Close to 82,000 people are diagnosed with cancer yet we don’t have adequate facilities for cancer detection. This Bill will therefore lay legal framework for major initiatives the ministry would take to deal with cancer,” said Nyong’o.
The Bill also outlaws discrimination against cancer patients. The proposed law further requires the 47 county governments and cities to mount educational and information campaigns on cancer prevention, treatment and control.
Gichugu MP Martha Karua praised the Bill but challenged the Ministry of Health to come up with a comprehensive treatment plan.