Over 13 Kenyan legislators are currently receiving cancer treatment in Indian leading hospitals.
They include nine MPs and four senators, who are being treated in top hospitals such as the Apollo Hospital and its outlets in New Delhi and other cities.
The news were revealed by Juja MP Francis Munyua Waititu, popularly known as Wakapee, who was successfully treated of brain cancer last year where he had stayed for seven weeks.
In October last year, he further revealed that around 63 MPs and Senators are suffering from cancer, a figure that was disputed by the national assembly health committee chairperson Sabin Chege.
“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.
The ministry of health estimates that at least 10,000 Kenyans travel abroad every year seeking cancer treatment. They use at least Ksh10 billion for treatment.
According to the legislator, most of those in India with caregivers run out 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.
“I personally spent Ksh1.8 million on housing alone for the period I was there. How many Kenyans can afford that?” He said.
40,000 Kenyans are diagnosed with cancer annually, while at least 15,000 people die of cancer every year, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
This comes at the wake of the death of Kibra MP Ken Okoth, who unsuccessfully tried to seek medication from abroad.