Visit Health Facilities For Cancer Screening, Doctor in Bungoma Advice to Residents 

Bungoma County Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr David Wanikina

“If we want to stop our people dying early from cancer then we need to embrace and advice one another to visit a health facility for screening so that people can know their status early,”-Dr Wanikina

By Brown Wafula in Bungoma

Residents of Bungoma County and the surrounding areas have been asked to visit health facilities for cancer screening services. Bungoma County Referral Hospital Medical Superintendent Dr David Wanikina said that cancer is a killer disease and there is a need for residents to be careful and visit health facilities for early screening before the disease develops into an advanced stage.

In an exclusive interview with The Weekly Vision on Wednesday, Wanikina said that the main challenge facing the residents is that they ignore visiting health facilities for screening only to turn up late when the disease is at an advanced stage, way beyond treatment and control. The specialist revealed that cancer is one of the diseases that cause significant numbers of deaths in Bungoma County, adding that many patients in the county are fighting advanced stages of cancer.

He said that cervical cancer in women and prostate cancer in men are the greatest mobility in the entire western region. “If we want to stop our people dying early from cancer then we need to embrace and advice one another to visit a health facility for screening so that people can know their status early,” Dr Wanikina said. However, Wanikina said that despite the many sensitizations through the media, some people are still presenting themselves at the health facilities with advanced cases of cancer

 “Almost all the cancer patients that we have received here at Bungoma County referral hospital show advanced cases of cancer, that is one of the reasons we end up losing many people to the killer disease,” he said. In efforts to address the cancer challenge in Bungoma County, the county administration put the cancer and palliative centre where patients with all types of cancer cases will be attended to.

Dr Wanikina said that since the beginning of this year Bungoma County has recorded 168 cancer patients as follows; January 45, February 46, March 52, April 7 and May 18 respectively

Wanikina says, previously the facility has been providing cancer services but not at an advanced level adding that the centre will be operational by early August, affirming that the specialist who will be handling the patient is currently abroad but he will be back in July. He said that in the past, patients had to travel to Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kakamega and overseas to seek cancer treatment but the facility will from August address the problem. “Patients with oesophagal cancer had to travel for long distances seeking treatment,” he said, adding that prostate cancer is mostly attacking men above 45 years. He said that since the beginning of this year Bungoma County has recorded 168 cancer patients as follows; January 45, February 46, March 52, April 7 and May 18 respectively.

He said that the facility also lacked Endoscopies machines which made cancer patients travel to other counties to seek the crucial services assuring them that the facility has now an endoscopy machine. Dr Wanikina noted that considering the Bungoma cancer and palliative centre is new, the facility will partner with the International cancer institute, Ampath and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital to ensure that it is well established.

“We want this centre to grow and expand, our target it’s not only to serve Bungoma but also to help cancer patients from other regions, “he said, adding that the establishment of the cancer centre will help address the menace that has left some people without land after they sold for their loved ones to access to cancer treatment.

Furthermore, Wanikina pointed out that the facility has received all cancer equipment despite those who will need Radiology will be required to travel to other established and improved cancer facilities to get the services. “We have received all the equipment needed for cancer treatment including surgeries,” he added.

He said that HPV services are also offered at the facility before the real cancer treatment, adding that the hospital is also training an expert who will handle the cancer equipment in August when the cancer and palliative centre is operationalized. He said that the facility is also accredited with NHIF where those seeking cancer treatment and with active NHIF cards will be required to sort out their bills using the cards.

“It is a humble plea to the residents to make sure they get NHIF cards so that if abruptly caught with any kind of an infection and rushed to hospital their people at home don’t sell land to raise hospital bills,” he said. He says that at the moment at Bungoma County referral hospital cancer consultations, diagnosis, and surgical treatments are offered.

“This time people are very much into Covid-19 and other infections forgetting cancer. Let’s join hands and fight cancer,” he said. Wanikina said that when patients see signs like private part bleeding in women, mass in breasts, abnormal pain, urinary tract infections, irregular menstruations, swelling of breasts and bad smell from the private parts visit the cancer centre to ascertain if it’s cancer for early diagnosis and treatment.

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