Breast, cervical, esophageal, prostate and colorectal cancer are
still the most common in the country, according to the health
Anti-tobacco lobby urges
Kenya to curb rising cancer cases
by Peter Mutai NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A Kenyan anti-tobacco alliance on Monday called
on the government to hasten programs aimed at reducing rising
cancer cases in the country.
Joel Gitali, chairman of Kenya Tobacco Control Alliance, said
that the government should not license nicotine products that
are increasingly threatening lives of people.
"Nicotine-based products such as nicotine pouch should not be
licensed in the country as it does not promote smoking cessation
and reduction of cancer cases," Gitali told journalists in
"We need not rush to license these products and we must
subject them to the existing policies that have proven effective
in reducing tobacco use, including plain packaging and bans on
flavorings," Gitali added.
Alfred Karagu, acting CEO of National Cancer Institute of
Kenya, said that cancer cases have been in an upward trend in
the past few months.
Karagu revealed that cancer kills a total of 33,000 Kenyans
every year, adding that esophageal cancer is the leading killer.
"Some 4,380 people are diagnosed with esophageal cancer
annually, and at least 4,351 die every year with only 29
survivals," Karagu added.
The World Health Organization (WHO) report on the global
tobacco epidemic 2019 released last week warns of the
possibility of tobacco industry interfering in tobacco cessation
efforts through misinformation.
"There are real concerns about the risk these products pose
to non-smokers who start to use them, especially young people.
"Unlike the tried and tested nicotine and non-nicotine
pharmacotherapies that are known to help people quit tobacco
use, we do not endorse e-cigarettes as cessation aids," says the
"Over the years, Kenya has made important steps in reducing
the burden of cancer, by helping thousands of people quit
tobacco and other nicotine-based products that cause harm,"
The chairman noted that cigarette smoking is an important
risk factor for esophageal cancer, and is the most important
preventable cause of many cancers and cardiovascular diseases
Late Kenyan Professor Wangari Maathai died from ovarian