by Beryl Alaka
As the rest of the world dedicated an entire month to support cancer victims, the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral hospital (JOOTRH’s) breast cancer support group took to the streets to raise awareness on breast cancer.
The support group comprising of men and women who are acute, extended and permanent survivors marched from prosperity house (Huduma center) to JOOTRH grounds.
The events aim was to enlighten the community on the importance of early screening as well as encourage persons living with cancer to increase their survival rate.
At the culmination of the walk, some of the survivor shared their experiences.
Franklin Otieno, was diagnosed with breast cancer on March 9th 2021, after a biopsy revealed he was in stage two of breast cancer
“I was darned after chemotherapy sessions, I felt like I lost all, I listened to stories of fellows who succumbed to breast cancer, I summoned myself and believed that my story would be different.” Said Otieno Acute survivor.
Steve Ouda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, he received treatment at JOOTRH and got well “It wasn’t easy, I applaud the oncology department for navigating through the process,” Ouda an extended survivor added.
He also said that many would be surprised to learn a man can be diagnosed with breast cancer, yet the cases are on the rise daily.
Dr. George Rae the CEO JOOTRH who joined in the walk, emphasized the need for early detection as the best protection and urged survivors to be ambassadors by educating the community.
Mr. Jacktone Oliver Okeyo Kisumu County’s Coordinator Department of Health and head of family health, who was also present during the function urged the support group to involve the county on advisory matters on quality health care.
He said that the County developed a modest plan, having trained over 200 healthcare workers.He also encouraged survivors to embrace Marwa Kisumu Solidarity health cover.
The group has benefited from the International Cancer Institute (ICI), partnership with JOOTRH.