|Written By:Catherine Achieng’a, Posted: Wed, Oct 12, 2011|
The rising cases of cancer infections and deaths have now prompted the introduction of a bill in parliament seeking to put in place necessary legislation to provide for the prevention, treatment and control of cancer.
The bill by Nyaribari Chache MP Robert Monda formally introduced in parliament, seeks to have the government promote public awareness about the causes, consequences, means of prevention and control of cancer, provide protection of human rights and civil liberties of persons with cancer, promote utmost safety and universal precautions in practices and procedures that relate to the treatment of cancer as well as eradicate conditions that cause and aggravate the spread of cancer.
The bill to be known as “The Cancer Prevention and Control Bill 2011″ also looks to establish a cancer prevention control institute as a body corporate complete with a board of trustees to manage its affairs.
The bill is also proposing the establishment of a cancer registry that will contain the frequency, type and geographical location of cancer patients as well as institutions associations and organisations including those controlled and managed by the government and local authorities that provide for care and treatment services for persons with cancer.
The bill at the same time makes it an offense for any person to discriminate against a cancer patient within the workplace, in schools, health facilities or from accessing credit and insurance services.
It also seeks to introduce cancer prevention and control as part of the national governments education syllabus.
At the same time it bars any person from undertaking cancer related human biomedical research on another person or on any tissue or blood removed from such a person except with the written informed consent of a person, in the case of a child with the written informed consent of a parent or legal guardian of the child, and in case a patient is incapacitated by infirmity of the legal guardian.
If this is contravened the bill provides for one to be liable to a fine not exceeding 200,000shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.
The bill comes barely a week after the funeral ceremony of noble laureate professor Wangari Maathai who passed away as a result of cancer related complications.
Meanwhile, Parliament has passed a motion demanding the government to urgently formulate a National Space Science and Technology policy to spearhead the establishment and operationalization of a national space agency.
The motion by Emuhaya Legislator Wilbur Otichillo, garnered unanimous support from among other MP’s Gichugu MP Martha Karua, Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo, Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu and Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery who pointed out the use of space technology would enable the country monitor weather patterns, nab criminals with precision as well as monitor effectively criminals engaged in piracy and terrorism.
Otichillo challenging the government to develop its own capacity and capability to use and launch its own satellite pointed out time is rife to embrace technology as one of the pioneering countries in Africa to promote the development and use of space technology for sustainable development.
Assistant minister for higher education science and technology Asman Kamama supporting the motion pointed out the government has already instituted several programmes including the establishment of the national council of science and technology, and is in the process of drafting a policy and a bill to put in place a legal framework for use of space technology.
He pointed out space technology has been useful in monitoring weather patterns citing the example of china which has used the technology to predict earthquakes reducing the devastation to its citizens.
At the same time he cited the challenge of lack of adequate facilities as well infrastructure and limited resources in developing the technology.