Serah Muthoni, a High school teacher in Nakuru, and a mother of one daughter, is a strong woman who has been battling recurrent cancer.
When this writer caught up with her at Nakuru’s Alexandria Cancer Centre and Palliative Care Hospital, she narrates that her’s has not been roses.
She says her journey with cancer started in 2011 when she was diagnosed and it manifested itself as watts at the anal opening and the labia.
The medics did the one centimetre incision and the one at the labia cut and she was referred to Kenyatta National Hospital for Radiotherapy.
However, Ms Muthoni states that no sooner had she thought she had been healed after all the sessions, than it appeared again in 2013 at the labia.
“I went through radiotherapy and all the 27 sessions and I thought I was healed only for it to appear again in 2013 at the point where the other one was at the labia with a bad smell. When I went back to the doctor a surgery was done and the results were cancer positive” she said.
Her fear of chemotherapy and all the horrific stories around the same saw her not take the results to the same doctor but she opted for a clinic in Eldoret where a surgery was conducted.
The results were negative and she felt happy that she had beaten cancer, but only for the same to come back on the left labia.
A major surgery was done and doctors advised her that she had to be introduced to chemotherapy to avert recurrence.
It is at this point that she says a good Samaritan introduced her to Alexandria Cancer Centre and Palliative Care Hospital in Nakuru.
“The doctors did the grafting and advised that I go for Chemotherapy to avoid recurrences. That is when a good Samaritan introduced me to this facility” she adds.
At this point she had to accept and go on with the chemotherapy sessions despite the side effects that come with.
Ms Muthoni admits at times her immune would be low and the doctors had to do infusion until she completed the sessions in December 2020.
“During this period you are trying to eat well but then there is that aspect of low blood and even immunity so the doctor had to do 4 infusions until I completed the sessions in December last year” she said.
On the cost of treatment, Ms Muthoni says her family has been supportive in all her journey with the recurrence cancer as well as the cancer support groups.
She is however quick to note that the medical insurance has also played a key part in settling the bills though she had to shelve her development agenda and focus on her health.
“My family has been supportive but also being a teacher we have health cover as well as the NHIF” she says.
She urges society not to fear cancer as it is preventable and treatable as long as it is detected as early as possible.
According to her, cancer is there and can strike anyone no matter the status in society.
“I’ll tell them not to fear. I wish they knew that cancer is real and anyone can get it. But early diagnosis is key” she says.
Oncologist Elias Melly who is also the Director at Alexandria Cancer Centre and Palliative Care Hospital says there is a need for more investment in cancer centres.
This, he says, will enable provision of care, research and training towards the war on cancer in the counties and nation as a whole.
He lauds the Ministry of Health for the establishment of 5 such regional centres in Nakuru,Garisa, Mombasa,Kisii and Nyeri which he hopes will be functional soon.
“The Ministry of Health has set up 5 regional centres which we believe will be functional soon.This will go a long way in the fight against cancer. We should also have programs that focus on promotion,diagnosis, prevention and curative care” said Dr.Melly.
On his part, Cosmas Koech-a physiotherapist says there is a need for society to be sensitized on early screening of cancer.
This he says will go a long way in the fight against cancer.
“Actually it’s important for everyone to go for early screening because the earlier we intervene the better” he said.
List of newly elected MCAs in Nakuru County
The following are the Nakuru County elected MCAs following the 9th August General elections. The United Democratic Alliance party (UDA) got the most number of seats at 39
The following are the Nakuru County elected MCAs following the 9th August General elections. The United Democratic Alliance party (UDA) got the most number of seats at 39. The Jubilee party managed 6 seats, while the Safina party won 1 seat. Seven of the MCAs were elected as independent candidates. Out of the 55 elected MCAs, 8 are women.
Naivasha Constituency MCAs 2022
- Maiella – Gituku Jane Wanjiru (UDA)
- 2. Naivasha East – Stanley Karanja (UDA)
- 3. Maai Mahiu – Eliud Kamau Chege (UDA)
- 4. Biashara – Elijah Mwaura (UDA)
- 5. Viwandani – Mwangi Muraya (UDA)
- 6. Lakeview – Alex Mbugua (UDA)
- 7. Hellsgate – Virginia Gichanga (Jubilee)
- 8. Ol’Karia – Peter Wanjala Palang’a (ODM)
Gilgil Constituency MCAs 2022
- 9. Gilgil – Rose Njoroge (UDA)
- 10. Malewa – Francis Mungai Kuria (UDA)
- 11. Eburru Baruk – Michael Gathanwa (UDA)
- 12. Elementaita – George Nene (Safina)
- 13. Morendat – Peter Njoroge (UDA)
Subukia Constituency MCAs 2022
- 14. Subukia – Isabella Makori (UDA)
- 15. Waseges – Elijah Murage (Independent)
- 16. Kabazi – George Talam (UDA)
Bahati Constituency MCAs 2022
- 17. Bahati – Grace Mwathi (UDA)
- 18. Kabatini – Leah Ng’ang’a (Independent)
- 19. Kiamaina – Paul Waweru Warege (Ka Wambui) (UDA)
- 20. Dundori – James Gathuita Mwangi (UDA)
- 21. Lanet Umoja -Mwangi Ngarama (UDA)
Nakuru Town East Constituency MCAs 2022
- 22. Nakuru East – Anthony Kamau (UDA)
- 23. Menengai – Wilson Mwangi (Jubilee)
- 24. Flamingo – David Kihumba Muraya (Independent)
- 25. Biashara – Fadhili Msuri (UDA)
- 26. Kivumbini – Neto Sakwa Alukutsa (Independent)
Nakuru Town West Constituency MCAs 2022
- 27. Rhoda – John Macharia (UDA)
- 28. London – Benard Gattuso (Jubilee)
- 29. Barut – Ben Kirui (UDA)
- 30. Kapkures – Robert Ruto (UDA)
- 31. Kaptembwa – Peter Kanjwang’ (ODM)
- 32. Shabaab – Macharia Wathiai (UDA)
Rongai Constituency MCAs 2022
- 33.Solai – Nixon Morogo (Independent)
- 34. Soin – Ellibas Naburuki (Degualle) (UDA)
- 35. Mosop – Dr. Alex Lang’at (UDA)
- 36. Menengai West – Isaac Kiptisya Rottok (UDA)
- 37. Visoi – Hellen Chemutai (UDA)
Njoro Constituency MCAs 2022
- 38. Njoro – Hezy Ndung’u (Independent)
- 39. Nessuit – Samuel Tonui (UDA)
- 40. Mauche – Moses Koros (UDA)
- 41. Mau Narok – Cyrus Dida (UDA)
- 42. Kihingo – Simon Kamau Karanja (Jubilee)
- 43. Lare – Phillip Wanjohi (Jubilee)
Molo Constituency MCAs 2022
- 44. Molo – Joseph Ngware (UDA)
- 45. Marioshoni – Ben Lang’at (UDA)
- 46. Elburgon – David Njuguna (Independent)
- 47. Turi – John Mwangi Macharia (Jubilee)
Kuresoi South Constituency MCAs 2022
- 48. Keringet – William Mutai (UDA)
- 49. Tinet – Paul Lang’at Alvin (Drilit) (UDA)
- 51. Kiptangich – Rose Mutai (UDA)
- 52. Amalo – Robert Lang’at (UDA)
Kuresoi North Constituency UDA MCA nominees
- 53. Sirikwa – Emmanuel Lang’at (UDA)
- 54. Kamara – Joseph Kipng’etich (Chemutwet) (UDA)
- 55. Kiptororo – Alex Bor (Kipyek) (UDA)
Nakuru to host World Bee Day celebrations
The Apimondia Regional Commission (ARC) President, Mr David Mukomana, in a statement, said the three-day program will include technical tours to see beekeeping within Nakuru County and any other areas, exhibitions, seminars and the actual celebrations.
Nakuru City will this year host the Regional World Bee Day (WBD) celebrations from the 18th – to the 20th of May 2022.
The yearly event is commemorated to raise awareness about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humanity in food security, global hunger eradication, and environmental and biodiversity conservation.
Under the theme; “Bee engaged: Celebrating the contribution of bees to the environment, food security and income generation to mankind.”
The forum will share knowledge from across the world, and draw the attention of the public and decision-makers to the importance of protecting bees as well as halting the further loss of biodiversity and degradation of ecosystems following the Paris Agreement.
FAO estimates that bees contribute to the pollination of food worth between $ 235 and $ 580 billion every year and that their decline continues to strain food systems.
Intensive farming practices, excessive use of agrochemicals, habitat loss, and adverse effects of climate among other issues have been identified as key hindrances causing the depopulation of bees and loss of colonies.
With such challenges, there is a need to come up with solutions that are resistive to the increasing bee population globally.
According to FAO, Kenya ranks third in Africa after Tanzania which is the largest producer of honey and produces approximately 31,405 tonnes annually while Angola ranks second producing about 23,500 tonnes annually.
As of 2020, Kenya’s production of honey was at 17,801 tonnes, up from 13,877 tonnes the previous year, this is a change of 28.28%.
Speaking during a past apiculture stakeholders’ workshop, State Department for Livestock Production Principal Secretary, Mr Harry Kimtai, expressed concern that new pests and farm pesticides have hit colonies hard.
“We’re collaborating with devolved units to halt the alarming depletion of bee colonies. Bee colony multiplication initiatives include capacity building, beekeeping equipment distribution, and bee bulking,” revealed PS Kimtai.
Despite the potential of honey production and the benefits of apicultural activity, very little income accrues from the activity.
The government in its progress, in the Big Four Agenda on 100% food and nutrition security, is committed to enhancing honey production from 25,000 tonnes to 38,000 tonnes by the year 2022.
Beekeeping offers an alternative source of livelihood and protects biodiversity and should ideally be established away from human interaction with enough bee forage and all-year-round availability of water to provide favourable conditions for beekeeping.
Nakuru County Executive Committee Member for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Immaculate Maina, says that, ‘’bees have become increasingly endangered with one million species facing extinction. Thus, beekeeping should be embraced as an alternative environmentally friendly income-earning enterprise.”
‘’We hope that by hosting this event, we will be able to proactively assist in the opening up of our county by giving marketing opportunities and investment prospects in the apiculture industry,” Dr Maina noted.
“We also anticipate important topics discussed during the three-day forum, such as the role of women in the sector as those most affected by climate change, solutions to save our bee species from extinction, and how we can continue to rely on pollinators to save us from the current climate crisis,” she concluded.
Acting CEO of the Apiculture Platform of Kenya (APK), Mr Frederick Otieno Odera, says that beekeeping has significant potential in Africa to improve rural incomes and diversify livelihoods.
“We hope the commemoration of the National World Bee Day will showcase new technologies and sustainable measures from across the world in the apiculture industry and provide sustainable solutions to save our bees in the current climate crisis,” said Otieno.
Governor Kinyanjui drops deputy, picks Kamuren as running mate
The county is a cosmopolitan city and was the headquarters of the Rift Valley province under the old Constitution.
Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui has dropped his Deputy of five years and named a woman running mate ahead of the August 2022 polls.
Kinyanjui, who is gunning for a second and final term in office, dropped Dr Eric Kipkoech in favour of Ms Franciscar Jelagat Kamuren.
He explained that Kamuren, 47, is an accomplished grassroots mobilizer with a strong passion for community development and was picked after wide consultation.
“Äfter long consultations with diverse stakeholders, I have decided to appoint Ms Franciscar Jelagat Kamuren as running mate for my second term bid,” Kinyanjui said.
The nominee holds a Masters’s degree in linguistics from Egerton University and has served in various capacities.
The governor is seeking to defend his seat via the ruling Jubilee party ticket under the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition.
He is however facing stiff competition from the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate Susan Kihika, who is the current Senator for Nakuru and his appointment is seen as a tactic to woo the women vote.
His announcement comes hours after Kihika unveiled her running mate in a press conference from Nakuru.
Kihika picked David Kones as the man to deputize her after an interview that attracted half a dozen candidates.
The senator, who is a staunch supporter of Deputy President William Ruto was handed a direct ticket.
Nakuru is among the largest counties in Kenya and was recently conferred city status by President Uhuru Kenyatta, making it the fourth city in Kenya after Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu.