For someone who has never been confined or whose movement has never been limited? They may take freedom for granted. But for the inmates at Lang’ata Women Prison, they know too well what freedom means. Prison may deny one access to so many privileges but one such privilege that they should never miss is that of information and education. Indeed, despite the prison situation, inmates continue being human beings and so deserve to get as much as anyone else not in prison may get.
It is on this premise that the Kenya Cancer Association joined the Redeemed Christian Church of God in an outreach session at the Prisons on October 13, 2017 during a medical camp. With an aim of reaching out to the inmates with cancer education and breast cancer screening, KENCANSA joined the Coptic Mission Hospital and the Metropolitan in the health outreach.
As part of the core programs of the Kenya Cancer Association, Education and Awareness continue to become a focal point of reducing the burden of cancer in Kenya. Speaking during the session, KENCANSA Executive Director Deborah Modi noted that “One of the hardest things to hear is you have cancer. We are therefore grateful to have the opportunity to educate the inmates” She added “Being a global breast cancer month, it was important to also reach the inmates with education, awareness and sensitization.”
Globally, October is the breast Cancer Awareness month but also importantly a month when there is increased awareness and sensitization on Cancer matters. As cancer is the third largest killer in Kenya, the disease continues to cause despair and pain among many families. According to the Kenya Medical Research Institute more than 40,000 new cancer cases are discovered each year with about 27000 deaths recorded.
During the day’s session, superintendent Jackline Onyango Officer in-charge of Education led the delegation in also planting trees to commemorate the activity and signify continuity of the collaboration. She opined that the gesture to reach out to the inmates with health education was a noble one.
KENCANSA also facilitated a breast cancer examination and screening with more than 50 women being examined. Together with the other partners, KENCANSA also offered donations to the prison and gave out education materials that would help the prison community become more informed on cancer issues.
Notably, KENCANSA Executive Director emphasized on the the aspect of prevention to ensure that more deaths are averted “We don’t want this to stop here and we will be forging forward with more longterm partnerships and programs to ensure that no one is left behind in education and awareness. When we have an informed society and community, then we can prevent and treat some of this cancers”
About 30% of cancers can be treated if discovered early education and awareness is a beginning point of the early detection process.