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India is hell for cancer patients, says Juja MP

Juja MP Francis Waititu on Saturday moved his constituents to tears as he recounted problems that thousands of Kenyans seeking treatment in India have to endure.

The legislator also disclosed that at least nine MPs and four senators are among almost 9,000 Kenyans currently queuing for cancer screening and treatment at Apollo Hospital in India. He said it is not a walk in the park for Kenyans seeking treatment in some of India’s hospitals.

Waititu, who has publicly declared that he is battling cancer, said some Kenyans are forced to sleep on pavements while others go for days without food because of the high cost of living. He was diagnosed and treated for a cancerous growth.

The MP, who was received by his Thika Town constituency counterpart Eng Patrick Wainaina claimed many Kenyans flown to India for cancer treatment could not afford house rent during their stay.

“Those people you have been helping in fundraising to go for further treatment in India cannot find anywhere to lay their heads on…they sleep in trenches because they cannot afford to rent a room,” said Waititu adding that most victims suffer from delayed screening as the few machines available cannot accommodate all patients from African countries.

He claimed some Kenyan doctors collude with Indian hospitals to ship as many patients as possible to earn commissions adding that only few hospitals are fully equipped with modern cancer screening equipment.

“We need to push for purchase of our own cancer screening machines to arrest the situation that is almost getting out of hand. We need to shift resources and our commitment in fighting cancer by declaring it a national disaster,” he said.

The Juja legislator also said there is need for the wealthy and influential people to declare their status, saying most suffer quietly. At the same time, Waititu alleged Kenyatta National Hospital has exacerbated suffering of many patients by delaying their treatment.

He said the reason he healed quickly was because he was undergoing radiotherapy daily but at KNH, it is done monthly. He said he would push for establishment of a cancer screening centre in his constituency to avert loss of lives. Wainaina said cancer should be declared a national disaster. He said health care, which is part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, should be taken seriously.

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