List of prominent Kenyans who battled cancer and lost

By James Lekishon On Mon, 29 Jul, 2019 17:14 | 3 mins read
Ken Okoth (left), Joyce Laboso, Bob Collymore [Photo: Courtesy]
Editor's Review

    In 2018, World Health Organisation (WHO) reported 32, 987 cancer deaths in Kenya.

    The disease, which is described as a broad cluster of diseases characterised by the growth of abnormal cells in the body, is the second leading cause of death globally.

    Over recent years, there have been increased reports of cancer in Kenya. Bob Collymore, Joyce Laboso and Ken Okoth are among the list of top Kenyans who have fought the killer disease and lost.

Just days after Kibra MP Ken Okoth lost his battle with cancer, Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso has joined the list of prominent Kenyans who have succumbed to the deadly disease.

With two high-profile deaths in under a week, the disease has become one of the top issues of concern among Kenyans.

Nearly 48,000 new cancer cases were recorded in 2018 according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), raising cancer prevalence to 86, 592.

Last year, WHO reported 32, 987 cancer deaths in Kenya.

Here is a list of prominent Kenyans who, despite fighting gallantly, lost the battle with cancer:

1. Ken Okoth 

Ken Okoth died in Nairobi Hospital on Friday, July 26. [PHOTO | FILE]
Ken Okoth died in Nairobi Hospital on Friday, July 26. [PHOTO | FILE]

The former Kibra MP is the recent prominent MP to die of cancer last Friday. His brother Imram said the MP was taken to Nairobi Hospital but succumbed some few moments later. He had earlier sought treatment in France.

2. Bob Collymore

On July 1, 2019, the country woke up to news of death of former Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore. In October 2017, Collymore went to the UK to receive treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia and returned in July 2018, to resume his duties. 

3. Nderitu Gachagua

Former Nyeri County Governor Nderitu Gachagua succumbed to pancreatic cancer in February 2017, just a few months to the 2017 General Election. Gachagua had battled the disease for close to two years.

4. Francis Nyenze

Former Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze died in December 2017, succumbing to colon cancer. He died aged 60.

5. Grace Kipchoim

Former Baringo South MP Grace Kipchoim, 49, died in April 2018, from colon cancer. She died while undergoing treatment at Nairobi Hospital. 

6. Ben Oluoch

Former Migori Senator Ben Oluoch died in June 2018 after a protracted battle with throat cancer. He was 55.

7. Jane Kiano

Former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organization chairperson Jane Kiano died from lung cancer in October 2018 at the Nairobi Hospital.

8. Wangari Mathai

The Nobel Peace Prize winner died of ovarian cancer in September 2011. She died aged 71.  

What is cancer?

Described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a broad cluster of diseases characterised by the growth of abnormal cells in the body, cancer is the second leading cause of death globally.

Cancerous cells grow beyond their usual boundaries, and they can invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs.

There is no cure for cancer.