As we see October come to a close we witness the end of the breast cancer awareness month. October is usually classified with the pink ribbons being worn and multiple free breast cancer screening tent are set up around areas in the country to help both men and women with early diagnosis of the killer disease. The cases of cancer in the country are on the rise. It was always thought to be a lifestyle disease, but this was because of misinformation and misconception because the rich were the ones who were most likely to seek treatment mainly because they could afford it. Many people in the country get diagnosed with cancer but after the diagnosis they are unable to do anything about it because they lack the money to treat the disease and they just go back home and wait to die.
A couple of weeks ago a piece on KTN TV was featured on the news with the title Desert of Death, by Dennis Onsarigo.
This very informative piece tells the story of the rising cases of cancer on the residents of Marsabit county. There have been 38 deaths reported that have been brought about by cancer in the area since the year 2009 and the numbers keep rising daily because of scattered reports of individuals diagnosed with cancer in the area. Residents of the area are not sure of what has caused the cancer in so many people but they are only left guessing as to what the cause could really be. Some tests have been carried out on the water and it was noted that their water from the boreholes had levels of harmful chemicals and it was deemed unfit for human consumption. Despite this knowledge they still drink and use the water because they have not been provided with another source of water that is not harmless.This feature was very sad because two individuals who were talked about during the piece had cancer and by the time it was been aired had already passed away, one was a three year old boy who had stomach cancer and the other was a lady who had mouth cancer.
It is very well known that our country does not have the facilities, equipment and especially enough staff to deal with the rise of the silent killer disease in the country. We have 10 oncologists in Kenya. In this feature we come across a nurse, Asunta Galgaitele.
She is the nurse at Kargi Dispensary in Marsabit. She has worked at that dispensary since 2003 and she can be described as the face of the dispensary. We at Morris Moses Foundation were greatly moved by her actions of sticking around in the dispensary for 10 years and assisting the patients of the area despite the lack of facilities in the area. She has been with the community regardless of the fact that all she can do is referring cancer patients to other hospitals. It is such individuals in the society who make such a big impact no matter how little they do but it is assured that she has helped many and touched the lives of many in Marsabit County. May the Lord bless her abundantly and give her the strength to continue changing people’s lives daily.