By Beth Nyaga

NAIROBI, Nov 4 (NNN-KBC) — Kenya will have nuclear energy in the next seven years, when the country also hopes to have the first batch of locally trained oncologists, according to the newly appointed Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Professor Shaukat Abdulrazak.

Nuclear energy is used in developing countries to treat cancer through radiation medicine, radiotherapy and chemotherapy although adopting a healthy lifestyle is billed the best preventive measure against the killer disease.

It is estimated that the annual incidence of Cancer in Kenya currently stands at 28,000 cases and the annual mortality for the disease is 22,000.

Cancer is now ranked the third leading cause of death among Kenyans after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. More than 60 per cent of those affected by cancer are below the age of 70 years.

According to the regional cancer registry at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), about 80 per cent of reported cases of cancer are diagnosed at the advanced stage, when very little can be achieved in terms of curative treatment.

Poorly structured referral facilities, inadequate diagnostic facilities, inadequate screening services and low awareness of cancer symptoms have been singled as the key obstacles to the battle against the disease.

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on Tuesday held extensive discussions with Prof. Abdulrazak over the ravages of cancer in the country.

The professor, who is also the Vice Chancellor of Umma University of Mombasa and Director of Medical Services Dr. Nicholas Muraguri paid a courtesy call on the First Lady whom they briefed on the cancer situation in the country.

The First Lady is the current chairperson of the Forum of African First Ladies and spouses against Breast, Cervical and Prostrate Cancer and she hosted a successful Stop Breast, Cervical and Prostrate Cancer (SCCA) conference in Nairobi in July this year. — NNN-KBC