Beth Mugo & Breast Cancer Pledge

Just over a year ago, president Uhuru Kenyatta Kin, Beth Mugo was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was not good news for anyone to hear a fellow prominent Kenyan politician fighting breast cancer. Hundreds of thousands more women are fighting breast cancer in Kenya as well but the road ahead of each breast cancer fighter is not the same. Some have it easier than others. It’s just the way it is.

beth mugo breast cancerBeth Mugo flew to one of the world best breast cancer treatment hospitals in the world located in North East America and later she was declared cancer free woman. Beth Mugo received surgery and chemotherapy and she may have future follow-up clinic visit with world top oncologists in USA. Beth Mugo belongs to Cancer Free Women league of women that should help others stay safe from breast cancer. After breast cancer pushed her to the edge of the cliff, Beth Mugo made a pledge.

While in the hospital, 17 women members of parliament visited Beth Mugo in the hotel she was residing in while going through cancer treatment in USA. The gesture was a positive one and millions of Kenyans witnessed true love for their leaders. Beth Mugo and the 17 female MPs agreed to launch a breast cancer center and awareness campaigns to help control breast cancer in Kenya. Beth Mugo even went on to hold promising talks with the university hospital and USA government officials on how she can spearhead a cancer treatment center in Kenya to fight not just breast Cancer but also other forms of cancer. This project is yet to be heard.

Does it mean that Kenyan politicians only respond to crises selfishly? Maybe I am missing something but does it mean breast cancer fight was only important to Beth Mugo when she was sick and no longer important after she’s cancer free? Beth Mugo owes to the Kenyan women, men and their families to live up to her pledges to fight breast cancer in Kenya. Her legacy would be far much stronger if she dedicated the rest of her life fighting breast cancer in Kenya.

Around the same time Beth Mugo was diagnosed with breast cancer, health minister Anyang Nyong’o was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Like Beth Mugo, Nyong’o joined the same chorus by pledging on how he would his powers in his position to fight cancer in Kenya. While millions of Kenyans believe that Nyong’o and Charity Ngilu made health industry in Kenya worse that they found it, Nyong’o too owes his fellow Kenyans to fight cancer and he should be held accountable for his pledges. Words are stronger than money and the curse of such unfulfilled promises to the public might come back and haunt him.

Breast cancer is number one killer in Kenya for women between age 35 and 55. The bracket could be higher but life expectancy for women in Kenya is about 55 years. Beth Mugo is among the lucky few to have seen her 70th birthday and survive breast cancer after age 70. The mortality rate of breast cancer in Kenya is above 80%. Over 80% of the known breast cancer cases in Kenya are diagnosed at late stages (3&4).  Kenya has less than 15 mammogram machines and 12 of them are located in Nairobi high end hospitals and clinics where only a handful like Beth Mugo can afford.

It is important that Kenyan leaders and government in general start recognizing breast cancer as a national calamity. Responding with hot air pledges during crisis is not going to help millions of Kenyan women faced by breast cancer today. Beth Mugo is a Cancer Free Woman and owes her pledges to Kenyans to fight breast cancer the rest of her life or does she? Otherwise, the curse of her words from her lips might come back and haunt her.

If you would like to share your breast cancer story, email your story on Microsoft word to cancerfreewomen[at]gmail.com.

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