Latest reports indicate that more than 13 Kenyan Members of Parliament are currently receiving cancer treatment in some of India’s leading hospitals.
They include 9 MPs and 4 senators, and are receiving medications in top hospitals such as th Apollo Hospital in Nwe Delhi along with its several outlets.
The news were revealed by incumbent Juja MP Frnacis Munyua Waititu, popularly known as Wakapee, who underwent successful brain cancer treatment last year where he sayed for 7 weeks.
Late last year, the legislator revealed that about 633 MPs and Senators were cancer patients, but the figure was disputed by Sabina Chege, the National Assembly Health Committee chairperson.
“So many people are suffering in silence from cancer. Nobody wants to talk about it because of the stigma behind it. In India, I met hundreds of cancer patients from Kenya alone. Among them were nine of my fellow MPs and four Senators. The cancer scourge is enormous and we can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand. We must get out and talk about it,” he said last year after jetting back.
According to Waititu, most of those who go to India for treatment run our of money, and some find themselves sleeping in the streets.
“Those people you have been helping in fundraising to go for further treatment in India cannot find anywhere to lay down their heads . . . they are sleeping in trenches because they cannot afford renting the expensive houses in India,” said Waititu.
He revealed he spent more than Ksh. 1 million on accommodation alone for the few months he was there.
“I personally spent Ksh 1.8 million on housing alone for the period I was there. How many Kenyans can afford that?” He said.
The Ministry of Health along with Kenya National Bureau of Statistics’ estimations indicate about 40,000 Kenyans are diagnosed with cancer every year, and not less than 10,000 Kenyans travel abroad seeking further treatment.
Out of those diagnosed with the deadly disease, about 15,000 succumb to it every year. The statistics further indicate that Kenyans use more than Ksh 10 billion for cancer treatments every year.
This comes at the wake of the death of Kibra MP Ken Okoth, who unsuccessfully tried to seek cancer medication abroad.