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They say information is power. And that is exactly what the National Council of Churches of Kenya staff at the head office got when the Council organized a cancer awareness session for her employees.
The exercise that was organized to mark the end of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, was free of charge for those who turned up. However those who wanted to undergo specific cancer tests were required to pay a minimal fee.
NCCK’s Programme Officer for Health and Education Imelda Namayi, told Jumuia news that the session had been quite successful. She added that: “This was an awareness session for staff. We thought that it was important for them to know their cancer status because cancer is not a death sentence. Early detection of the disease enables one to deal with it. It was quite successful to an extent of attracting outsiders.”
The session was part of the Council’s wider campaign against cancer in the country dubbed “Early diagnosis detection and health seeking behavious,” implemented through NCCK’s health docket.
Imelda’s sentiments were echoed by NCCK’s Programme Officer (Regional Administration) Gladys Ndung’u, who pointed out that many cancer victims undergo medical tests when it is too late.
She observed that most of those who turned up for the exercise were women. “Some people especially men did not think that it was serious, which is one of the reasons as to why people are dying of cancer. The assumption that it cannot get me but somebody else must be addressed. Cancer is not painful in early stages but only show symptoms when it is too late. That is why we advocate for early screening,” said Ndung’u.
Others who spoke to Jumuia news lauded the initiative and agreed that it was quite beneficial.
“It was quite good and people were helped to know cancer issues,” said NCCK’s Programme Officer Laban Ashioya.
For Sharon Biwott who underwent tests for breast cancer, the session had set her on a completely new path. “When I did the test I realized that there are no lumps in my breasts. My BP and sugar levels were quite fine. I had never undergone these tests,” she offered.
On her part Ruth Mwihaki ( Sales Executive, Jumuia Resorts), said that she was relieved after getting information on things that could raise alarm.
The session that was organized at the Council’s headquarters of Jumuia Place, was conducted by Nairobi Hospital’s resident gynecologist Dr. Igoji. Free services ranged from BMI, blood sugar tests and general advice on cancer.