By Wambui Pauline
Deputy President William Ruto has said plans are on to expand access to cancer diagnosis and treatment services through NHIF across the country.
Speaking at the memorial service of the late Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze at the Christ Is the Answer Ministries (CITAM) in Karen, Nairobi, Ruto said cancer is among major illnesses that has claimed countless lives in the country adding it was the reason why Jubilee has put health among the first four critical issues that will be tackled in the next five years.
He said the government will soon come up with legislation in the National Assembly and the Senate to expand the National Health Insurance Fund services for cancer patients among other major ailments.
He added that the move was aimed at enhancing diagnosis and treatment at the county level since the scourge “is still a major challenge in the country that needs concerted efforts to contain”.
“To minimise cases of cancer, we have to make sure that the necessary health infrastructure is put in place to contain increasing cases of the disease in the country,” Ruto said on Friday.
“This is why we intend to come up with a legislation in Parliament to cater for people in dire need of health services including cancer through NHIF.”
The Deputy President said the government was putting in place mechanisms to increase the number of people covered by NHIF from the current 6.7million to 30 million in the next five years.
He said the government will work towards the attainment of the universal health coverage further noting that two hospitals will be expanded and equipped in each county to also cater for cancer screening and diagnosis.
Ruto said he remains optimistic that the ongoing efforts to contain the disease will yield fruits.
The Deputy President described the late Nyenze as a hardworking man whose services will greatly be missed by the society.
He said throughout his career as a politician, the late Nyenze put the interest of the country first ahead of his own or any other political aspirations.
“The late Nyenze was a patriotic Kenyan who put his country first ahead of his own,” Ruto said. He also delivered message of condolence from President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula among several MPs were among those who sent their condolences to the family.
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua thanked the government for standing with the family during this difficult moment.
The late Nyenze will be laid to rest on Tuesday next week at his Kyondoni home in Kitui County.