By Kirera Mwiti, Reuben Mwambingu and KNA
Residents of Kasarani estate in Naivasha woke up to a rude shock after a middle-aged woman, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, allegedly committed suicide.
The 38-year-old woman is said to have taken her life in her sister’s house to avoid the suffering and pain cancer victims and their families undergo.
Emotions ran high as her kin and friends tried to come to terms with the incident.
Purity Muthoni, a mother of two, had been undergoing treatment in different hospitals before she was diagnosed with cancer a few days ago.
A neighbour, Ann Nyambura, said she had been living in Olkalau when she developed a growth in one of her breasts. “She had been misdiagnosed in various hospitals until the cancer detection at Kenyatta National Hospital,” she said.
Naivasha OCPD Samuel Waweru said the body was taken to Naivasha mortuary.
The incident comes even as the nation continues to mourn Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso and Kibra MP Ken Okoth, who succumbed to cancer recently.
Meanwhile, on Sunday former parliamentary Agriculture committee chair John Mututho attributed the rising cases of cancer to eating of non-biodegradable components in food.
In a phone interview, Mututho said: “The regulatory bodies mainly from the Health and Agriculture ministries should wake up from their slumber and stop the importation and sale of such products.”
At the same time, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) has asked medical facilities offering diagnostic imaging services and treatment such as radiology and radiotherapy to ensure that their equipment is calibrated up to required standards to minimise cases of misdiagnosis and mismanagement of diseases.
The agency’s acting managing director Bernard Njiraini said in radiotherapy, one of the pillars of cancer treatment, it is imperative for technologists handling the equipment to ensure they are up to set standards.
“It is important to understand that over time, medical equipment tends to degrade and that affects their accuracy and precision,” said the MD during a training forum in Mombasa.
Elsewhere, oncologist Billy Njuguna urged the government to enhance accessibility of cancer services and carry out in-depth research on early detection and treatment of the killer disease.
Speaking during a forum organised by Limau Cancer Connection on Saturday in Nairobi, the oncologist urged the government to work out modalities of increasing accessibility of medical cannabis, which contains pain relief and appetising components.