Order Members. We are short of the required quorum and, therefore, I will order that the Quorum Bell be rung for 10 minutes.
Order, Members. We have quorum now. Proceed, Hon. Theuri.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I, the undersigned, on behalf of the residents of Embakasi West Constituency draw the attention of the House to the following: (i) THAT, the residents of Embakasi West Constituency highly appreciate the numerous economic environmental and infrastructural benefits brought about by the re-designing and construction of the Outer Ring Road into a dual-carriage road which include creation of jobs, facilitation of transportation access among others.
(ii) THAT, the road connects Thika Road and North Airport Road and transverse through Eastlands with at least 100,000 vehicles using the road on a daily basis.
(iii) THAT, Outer Ring Road project is expected to have positive effects on traffic, real estate, trade and the general economy of the eastern part of Nairobi.
(iv) THAT, the said road has reduced travel time from Mombasa Road to Thika Road from three hours to just about 10 minutes which is relief to commuters who for years have had to sit in traffic for hours.
(v) THAT, Outer Ring Road design gives an outline that the road would encompass eight lanes, a median lane for the proposed Nairobi Rapid Transit System, four passenger transfer stations, 10-foot bridges, six underpasses and two interchanges.
(vi) THAT, despite these numerous benefits, a number of innocent Kenyans have lost their lives and are injured through road accidents along this road, robbing many households of their bread winners and leaving untold suffering on the maimed and their families. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
(vii) THAT, a majority of the road accident victims and pedestrians and especially school going children are involved in road accidents due to lack of foot bridges/underpasses and marked pedestrian crossing for use by pedestrians.
(viii) THAT, efforts to resolve this matter with relevant Government agencies have been futile.
(ix) THAT, the matter presented to this Petition is not pending before any tribunal, court of law or independent body.
THEREFORE, your humble petitioners pray that the National Assembly, through the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing: i. Allocate/appropriates funds for construction of adequate foot bridges/underpasses at the major black spots especially in Umoja Mutindwa area, Donholm area and Taj Mall area and the establishment of bus stops along the Outer Ring Road. ii. Ensures that the petitioners’ plight is addressed. iii. Makes any other order or direction that it deems fit in the circumstance of the matter. And your petitioners will forever pray. Thank you.
For the knowledge of Members, this is one of the few Members in this city who lives in his constituency. I am informed that he lives in Umoja Inner Core area. So, he will be a real beneficially of this if it goes through. I will give a chance to a few Members to comment on this. The Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, this is a very good Petition unlike the many that I have heard in the past two weeks. I am sure the Leader of the Minority Party is wondering why. The essence of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing is to make sure that Outer Ring Road really transforms that area the way the Thika Super Highway has transformed transport for those of us who travel from Nairobi to that part of the country. Again, innocent Kenyans lose their lives every day. They have no other choice because of lack of foot bridges and other road safeguards. There are some who during the evenings when they have two or three bottles of beer cannot tell the difference between the old Outer Ring Road, which they were used to and the new Super Highway. I think Hon. Pkosing and the Members of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing should not only consider Outer Ring Road, but all the major super highways. They should allocate enough resources to support the Kenya National Highways Authority (KeNHA) and the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) in their major constructions. Hon. Theuri is serving his second term and he only wears a suit when coming to the Chamber. When he leaves this compound, he dresses in different attire. One day when the President was launching that road in 2015…
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
What is out of order, Hon. Chachu?
On a point of order, Hon. Deputy Speaker. How relevant is the Leader of the Majority Party? Of course, he holds that esteemed office and he can speak whenever he wants on this Floor. What business does he have on how the Member dresses?
Members, including you, are free to observe. I have also observed.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I think Hon. Chachu Ganya is scared that next time, I will say how he dresses when he goes to his constituency. He and I dress differently when addressing pastoralists. So, let me finish with Hon. Theuri. I asked him why he was dressed that way because his attire was good and unique. He said the only way he can get votes in that constituency is not by wearing suits. If he wears suits, he will lose the seat. That is why he The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
dresses that way. I am sure the next time I get an opportunity; I will describe how Hon. Chachu and I dress. I want to ask Hon. Chachu not to gag free speech because the Standing Orders allow free conscious. We are here to speak on various issues and this House is livelier than the Senate. Some of the Members here were held in traffic jam and need to cheer up. That is how Hon. Theuri gets elected. He was seated next to the President, but he was dressed in jeans, not the kind you and I wear, but different ones. I asked him how he could sit next to the President dressed that way. He said that the guys we were addressing will only vote for him when they have a special touch with him. When you see him dressed nicely, it is only when he is coming to the Chamber. I am sure Hon. Maanzo also dresses differently when he is in his constituency.
Or he does not dress.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, if I wear the kind of jeans he wears in my constituency, I will lose my seat.
Did you say that Hon. Maanzo does not dress in his constituency?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for the humor. You have made everyone to laugh. I beg to support. The Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing, just like any other committee, should convince the Executive and the Cabinet Secretary that the good roads which the President has built needs the necessary safeguards, bridges and foot paths. Pedestrians and motorists must also observe road signs. When we exit Parliament, there is a zebra crossing just before the roundabout. Let us show by example that when people are crossing the road, we must stop our cars and allow our voters to pass. I also want the citizens to be careful. We do not want to lose even a single life. I support.
Very well. I am finding it difficult to pin point the Members who want to speak to this one. I can see Hon. King’ola of Mavoko.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Petition. I agree with Hon. Theuri that people from Embakasi where I used to be a councilor sometimes back, are really suffering. I have seen people knocked down by cars because of lack of foot bridges. Again, I wonder why and who award the contracts? If you happen to use Outer Ring Road around Taj Mall during the rainy season, it is impassable because of floods. One is left wondering where the engineers who designed the road are from. Even if they are Chinese, their counterparts from Kenya should give them good designs, so that people can access their homes. The last time we had heavy rains, nobody could access that road. Cars were destroyed and spoilt in the floods. Yet, these were roads designed by Kenyans who know the topography of the area. Also, when contractors are awarded the road contracts, there is nothing they do concerning corporate social responsibility. They do not build primary schools or dispensaries. In as much as they enjoy our money, they must be urged to build schools, dispensaries and foot paths. If you visit the developed countries, along the road side, you will find dispensaries, telephone booths, emergency centres and toilets. Our contractors build roads and leave funny materials on the road side yet they are paid in advance. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing must rise up to the expectations of this House and ensure that value for our money is seen. We cannot keep on paying foreign companies which do funny work. I think it is high time the Government becme serious when awarding contracts. Hon. Deputy Speaker, as much as I agree…
Please, let us not debate this. It is just a few comments so that other Members can also say something. Of course, I understand you were an executive there.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, it was my feeling. I support Hon. Theuri. Go! Go! Go!
Let us have Hon. Jude Njomo Kang’ethe.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I support this Petition by Hon. Theuri. I think time has come when our road designers and engineers should put more emphasis and consideration on pedestrians. It has happened on so many roads that every time a new road is constructed, the public is left asking for bumps because vehicles are over speeding. The Thika Superhighway, which is the biggest road in Kenya, was built and then bumps were constructed on the same road because the designers forgot, ignored or had some monkey business about putting foot bridges across the road. The bumps that were erected cause long traffic jams, costing a lot of money in terms of manhours and, therefore, costing our economy a lot of money. My challenge to the road designers is that they should consider pedestrians in every road design that they do. At the junction of Kiambu Road and the bypass, they have marked the road with markings that look like they are contrary to the normal traffic routine or signage that we are used to. Where traffic is supposed to enter the bypass, they have put red markings and where it is supposed to exit, they have put white markings. When you see red, it tells you ‘stop’ but on that bypass, red is telling you to enter. I think this is something that KeNHA needs to consider and see whether they have done the right thing. I support the Petition.
Lastly on this one – and we still have opportunity to speak on others - is Hon. Lodepe, the Bishop from Turkana Central.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I live in the constituency which the Member represents. To access my house is a problem. I support the issue that the Member has raised so that the President can pass through to access the house. With these few remarks, I support.
Let us have the Leader of the Majority Party.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House. Financial Year 2017/2018 Supplementary Estimates (No.2) Programme Based Budget of the National Government of Kenya for the Financial Year ending 30th June 2018. I draw attention to the Chair of the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. This is the second Supplementary Budget for the financial year ending in June and I really want to give direction to departmental committees and the Budget and Appropriations The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Committee that they should deal with this matter before we go on the long recess in May. By the time we come back in June, time left will be too short. So, the committees can deal with it next week and the other week. We only have two weeks before we go on the long recess. I really indulge you on that matter.
Of course, that is referred to all the relevant committees. If committees can do it within seven days, the better, so that we can move on. I also want to place the Petition by Hon. Theuri to the Departmental Committee on Transport, Public Works and Housing. I see the Chair of that particular Committee, Hon. Losiakou. Please, can we hear something from you?
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. The name that is known here is Pkosing. So, when you say Losiakou, many people might not know. However, that is my cow’s name. I want to confirm to Hon. Theuri, my very good friend that this Petition now is with us. I also invite him to come and participate. It is true that most accidents on our roads are actually caused by pedestrians. The fatalities are pedestrians. All of us will combine our efforts to help them. I agree with him because we also have the report. However, one problem that might arise is that even if we do the underpasses and overpasses for pedestrians, we also urge our people, through our Hon. Members, that when we do the underpasses and the overpasses, they should use them. When you use some of the roads, you will see that our people do not use the bridges. They just cross the way they want. So, I urge that we combine efforts. I will invite Hon. Theuri to give us some of these specific areas. I support and welcome it.
Okay. That is fine Chair. You will say most of what you are saying now in the Committee which you lead. In terms of having your new name, many Members have very new names here. I am very sure Members do not know who Hon. Kang’ethe is. That must be Hon. Jude Njomo. Of course, many Members would not know that Hon. King’ola is the Member for Mavoko. So, we will be getting these names smoked out so that Members can be known in all their names, including Kitonga, who is the Member for Makueni. Let us proceed. We also have the Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Energy on this one.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I beg to lay the following Paper on the Table of the House: Report of the Departmental Committee on Energy on its consideration of the Energy Bill 2017.
We have one hour and three minutes remaining. Therefore, Members who will be contributing, kindly be brief so that as many Members as possible can contribute. Let me start with the Member for Igembe Central.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute to this Motion on waiver of charges and establishment of an employment database. I support the Motion because here in Kenya we have so many youths who are qualified and unemployed. However, to access employment opportunities is also a nightmare. It is very difficult for the school leavers, graduates or those with whatever qualifications to meet the demands from the potential employers. When you talk of getting a job and then you find that for one to qualify, he/she needs to have five years’ experience. I wonder where you can get that experience if you do not get a job. Moreover, the documentation and the papers which are required for that purpose are so many to the extent that in the process of getting this information, the job seeker cannot even afford the funds which are required.
I support the Motion because we need a centralised database whereby a job seeker can get all the required documents at the same place. We are in the digital world and I expect the ministries concerned and the Public Service Commission (PSC) to have a database of all the people who have left school, who are qualified and need jobs. They can transmit this information to potential employers, be they private or public. They can resend the same information. Therefore, the job seeker will just place his or her application. The employer can then open the database and get all the documents from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB), the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB). Some job seekers come to Nairobi and spend about three days looking for these offices in Nairobi to get the information. More so, the same offices are very corrupt. The school leaver leaves the village and comes to Nairobi with money for transport for just a day or two. He or she will find that in order to get the information or data which is required to take to the employer, he or she will have to cough some money in one way or the other. This becomes very clumsy. You find that job seekers despair, have nowhere to go and most of them turn to us as their leaders and Members of Parliament. They tell us that they have qualifications for such and such a job, but they cannot access it because of the bottlenecks and the bureaucracy. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
It is high time we established a database for all job seekers. The Government has to facilitate the process of disseminating this information to all the people who require it. Therefore, a job seeker will just present himself or herself in that particular place for an interview and that is all. We should not start asking for money from a job seeker even before they start earning it. At the end of the day, they will borrow that money or go to their leaders. You will find that somebody will despair and stop bothering about that job. I support the Motion.
Let us have the Member for Butere.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Motion. Looking at the World Bank report on unemployment in this country, you will find that almost 60 per cent of unemployed people are youths. The only way we can rise up and solve this problem is having a database that is accountable and managed properly. You will find that the same World Bank report states that out of 800,000 job seekers, only 50,000 manage to get the jobs. That is way below 20 per cent. Therefore, the issue of documentation has brought about vices such as corruption, tribalism and bribery. A Kenyan, especially a youth, has the right to employment and security. The Government should provide all youths and every person who qualifies for a job a chance to serve this country. This Motion is well-structured and should address the issue of unemployed youth especially those between the ages of 18 and 35 years. With regard to the issue of documentation, why should you ask a Kenyan who has an ID card to produce documents yet he or she can prove very well that he or she is a Kenyan? The issue of documentation is taking us back to the pre-colonial period where Kenyans were asked to produce ID cards whenever they would to government offices. With regard to the issue of anti-corruption clearance, why should you ask someone to produce an EACC clearance certificate when that person has never been employed? Where has he practised corruption? With regard to the issue of the CRB clearance certificate, how can you ask an 18-year old, who has never been to any bank to ask for money, to produce a credit clearance?
Order, Hon. Sankok. What is it, Hon. Sankok? You are quite mobile this morning. Proceed, Hon. Mwale.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. It is in order for the Government to come up with a database that is managed in a proper way.
Order! Even before you sit down, Hon. Sankok, you have already pressed the intervention button. What is out of order?
Thank you very much, Hon. Deputy Speaker. In the recent past, we have seen Members joining my club. You have just seen Hon. Halima Mucheke walking with crutches. At times, they give me a lot of competition. You see that she has started receiving the benefits that I normally receive. I plead with Members not to join our club. Hon. Halima, please, get well very soon.
The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
You are completely out of order, Hon. Sankok. What you have done perfectly is to wish Hon. Halima a quick recovery. I do not know what your club is, unless you are talking about their organisation. Proceed, Hon. Member for Butere.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I want to ask my brother, Hon. Sankok, to also realise that the issue that I am talking about is very important. It is not only the issue of you walking with crutches. This is very important even for people with disabilities. Therefore, it was not good for him to interrupt knowing very well that his issue does not concern the Motion. Let me stop there, but I ask the Government to set up the database very quickly so that we can address the matter.
Very well. Let us have Hon. Maanzo.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker for giving me an opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. Unemployment is a serious matter in the country. Just like many of us in this House, many of our youths have found themselves in a similar situation of having completed university and it becomes difficult to obtain a tax compliance certificate because they have never earned any money in the first place. It is difficult to have a certificate of good conduct because one has just left school, although even a young person can still have a criminal record. It is also difficult to have a HELB clearance certificate because you have not even began paying the loan since you have just left university. It is also difficult to have an EACC clearance because you have never worked, therefore, chances of having participated in corruption are nil. It is the same case with the CRB clearance certificate because at that age, you may never have borrowed money from any bank or anybody. Even raising Kshs4,500 is a challenge for many job seekers. In fact, most of them hardly have Kshs100 in their pockets as they look for a job. I agree with the establishment of a database because it is there that you can easily refer to that person. I had opportunity to work in the Ministry of Youth as the Secretary for Youth and Sports and I am familiar with what a lot of young people go through. The Mover of this Motion wishing to waive charges and establish a database is very right. I would like to urge the Government and Members to support it too. That particular waiver means that if there is a database, you have already been identified and can be connected to the constituency or county you come from. Therefore, you are traceable even if you are newly employed. If something goes wrong, there are enough people who know your whereabouts. Those are the fears for a person who is newly employed. It is good to have this database. It had been established and existed in 2002. When President Kibaki came to power, there was a very huge effort to create a youth database. But for people who were youths in 2002, times have changed. This database has to be maintained by a certain agency and to keep being updated. Others will also drop out as youths the moment they cross the age of 35. It is very important to establish the employment database, so that if you are unable to produce a HELB certificate or the KRA certificate, you are traceable. I believe none of the university leavers has any of these certificates. Even if you give them those certificates, it is simply for clearance purposes. It means, therefore, no details of them have been taken. If one’s name can be traced, then one’s details can be found in the database. Employers would have easy reference of particulars concerning the youth who should be given job opportunities. In fact, one of the founders of the USA said that if you want to know the future of a country, look at the role models of the youths in that particular country, especially those in leadership positions like us. We, as leaders, are elected by the people and we are role models to the youths. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
When Hon. Sankok was at university, I had opportunity to represent him. He was fighting for this nation. He was very active at the university level. As soon as he left university, he was lucky to get a job because he is a doctor. Many youths are not as lucky as him neither are they known like him. The whole country knew him even before he left university.
I support the Motion and urge Members to do the same. I thank you.
Hon. Chachu Ganya.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I have caught your eye. I want to commend Hon. Faith Wairimu Gitau for this very timeous and relevant Motion of national importance. Indeed, unemployment is a major national concern and a problem in our country. We have so many graduates and seasoned professionals in our constituencies who are unemployed. I know if there is political will, then this issue can be addressed. We are willing to invest in the setting up of institutions which will enable us to address the crisis we are talking about. This Motion is on the waiving of the many unnecessary documents that unemployed youths are required to produce whenever they apply for jobs. Indeed, we should do away with such a requirement. As soon as we pass this Motion, I will call upon the Committee on Implementation to ensure its speedy implementation.
Some of these requirements are, indeed, unnecessary. I do not think people have thought through it. I really do not see how somebody who is seeking employment would be connected to the issue of credit worthiness. Once that person is employed, he will sort out his credit issues. Why would a prospective employer deny somebody employment just because he or she does not have those unnecessary documents that we are talking about? Having an employment database is not enough. It is important that we make use of it. There are many institutions in this country which deal with issues of employment. We can work with our embassies all over the world and export our human resource. We have well-trained man power in this country. If you go anywhere in the world today, you will meet Kenyan doctors, nurses and engineers. Kenyans work in all fields. If only we would aggressively export our skilled man power, then we would surely create enough employment opportunities for our youths. It would make our lives better and in turn generate a lot of revenue for use in our economy.
We should tap in all the markets in the Middle East, Europe and the USA. It is possible for us to export human resource. Many countries have done it. There is nothing that will hinder Kenyans from doing it. We are known for quality education and producing well-trained and skilled man power in Africa, to say the least. If, say, the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs and the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Services, and our embassies all over the world are given the necessary resources and capacity to market Kenyan professionals in the job market, I am sure we can address this crisis.
Hon. Deputy Speaker, I support the Motion very strongly, but I also strongly believe that once we have the employment database, let us see how we can make good use of it by linking it to all the relevant ministries, embassies and also other countries where we can easily tap into their market. I strongly support this Motion. Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Let us have the Member for Alego Usonga, Hon. Atandi Onunga.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. Kenya has the highest unemployment rate in East Africa. Currently, it stands at 22 per cent compared to Uganda which is at 4 per cent and Tanzania at 5 per cent. If you look at the population growth rate, again it is lower in Kenya. It is higher in Tanzania and Uganda. So, this clearly means that we have a constant size of population that is not getting employment opportunities. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I support the Motion, but it is not enough to have a database of unemployed youths. As a people and Government, we need to dig further and look at how we can get opportunities. Creating a good conducive environment for private companies to thrive and to create jobs is one of the areas that we need to look at as a Government. A lot of private companies have exited Kenya in the recent past because of corruption in the Government. It has hindered new companies which come from outside from venturing into this country so that our youths can get opportunities. Once we create this database, as a Government, we must think deeper and look at ways in which we can get opportunities. If we have a database of one million jobless youths and we are not thinking about where we will get opportunities for them, we will not be helping the situation.
The other issue that I want to talk about is to do with some of the requirements for the youths to get job opportunities. A youth is asked to get a CRB clearance certificate. When I was looking for this job, I was asked to bring so many documents. I had some debts which I had not cleared. So, I wondered why I needed to be cleared of these debts before I could become a Member of Parliament. Some of these requirements are unnecessary. Before most youths get jobs, they cannot begin to pay HELB loans. In a nut shell, we are asking for so many things from the youths before they get job opportunities. Apart from just waiving the fees, we need to find a way in which we can do away with some of the requirements. Why do you want a KRA clearance for somebody who has graduated from the university? Where has he been earning? I support the Motion, but we need to ensure that we identify opportunities and areas in which we can strengthen the private sector for our youths to get job opportunities.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Abdullahi Sheikh, Member for Mandera North.
Thank you, Hon. Deputy Speaker. This Motion is very good. It resonates well with the many youths who are unemployed. It is known that 35 per cent of the Kenyan population comprise of the youth. This Motion seeks to waive the numerous fees which youths are charged as they seek employment. It is rather unfortunate that somebody seeking to be employed is asked to get documents which are costly. What is more surprising is that the same unemployed youth is put in the same category and level as somebody who is seeking high offices. Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and CEOs are required to have the same documents at the same price as the unemployed youth.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, why would a youth, who does not have that amount of money, be charged when he seeks employment?
Order, Member. Hon. Cecily Mbarire, do you have an intervention? Proceed.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. When the youth seek employment, they have to present the documents, but it is not a guarantee that they will get the jobs. So, this Motion intends to provide affirmative action for the many youths in this country. It will go a long way in easing the already onerous and difficult path of seeking employment for the youth in this country. As Members of Parliament, we are saddled with a number of requests, The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
on a daily basis, from youths seeking employment. They have the documents yet they cannot get employment. Why saddle them with two difficult issues of looking for documents that they pay for, but cannot be employed? The Motion seeks to take away the burden by ensuring the documents are not a requirement for youths seeking first time employment. We understand that the Government gets revenue from the application for the documents. It can still raise the same amount of revenue from people who are already employed; higher cadre of Kenyans. If the Government thinks that its revenue will be short, it can as well charge more from the higher cadre. For example, if the rate is Kshs1,000 and one is looking for a position of a CS, PS or a CEO, one should be required to pay three times that amount to cater for the amount the youth could have paid. That way, the Government will not lose revenues.
The other aspect is the database for youth employment. They leave colleges and universities, but we do not have real time data to know who is employed and who is out there still looking for employment. The database is very critical and it will enable us, as leaders, to hold the Government to account by finding out who has been employed and from which county or constituency. This also goes down well with the fact that we need to have a balance in employment all over the country.
I support the Motion. It is very important. I advise the Government to continue providing services to the youth. They are many and are unemployed. They should not be burdened with seeking for documents that are costly. Thank you very much.
Let us have Hon. Mukhwana Khamala, Member for Lurambi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I rise to support the Motion on the waiver of charges and establishment of an employment database.
The youth in the country form a huge part of our population, but most of them are not employed. We realise that employment is a challenge because opportunities for employment have shrunk. Most of our youths are out there looking for any available opportunity. In the recent past, we have seen many requirements for our young people to get an opportunity for just an interview or an opportunity to forward their names for vetting. That is not even a guarantee that they will get the position they are looking for. Most of our youths do not have any money. They work very hard to raise money to get the documents, some of which take a very long time to acquire. The certificate of good conduct takes a very long time to get. Some of the youth have to walk long distances. In Lurambi Constituency, Kakamega County, some of the youth have to walk to the Huduma Centre to acquire these documents. They find very long queues and have no money to pay. They have to do menial work or sometimes come to us leaders to raise the money. This Motion is long overdue. It was supposed to have been passed as early as yesterday so that the youth can access employment opportunities. Why do they require these documents? We live in a world where we should have a pool of information. The world we live in today has technology. If one wants to know me, they can. One does not need anything. Just like other Members have said, the youth have not participated in any economic activities that have taken them to lending institutions like banks and others. They have not committed any economic crimes to need a clearance certificate from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and such bodies. To me, it is not youth friendly to make them walk long distances and spend money they do not have. As custodians of the people and as Members who have been elected to protect people of this country and be their voice, we need to support this Motion so that the youth can attend interviews and look for employment opportunities without having to go through The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
other barriers like looking for documents. Why would they be asked to get a debt free clearance? Which money do they owe and whom do they owe? They have never been employed and have not made money because they are school leavers. They have just done their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) or have come out of university or colleges. They do not have money.
So, I totally support the Motion. We should protect our youth and create a conducive environment where our young people can look for opportunities out there. There should be information. If you are looking for information regarding any person, you can do so with the modern technology and with the advancement of technology in Kenya and around the world. The Government or an employer should find that information. This is a wonderful Motion and it is going to be a great relief. I support. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, before you took the Chair, the Deputy Speaker mentioned…
Hon. Member, your time is up. I am sure you have made your point clearly. On my right side, the topmost Member is Hon. Wambugu Ngunjiri, Member for Nyeri Town.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support the Motion. Specifically, I have been advised that the part stating ‘35 per cent of the population in the country’ is erroneous. In my understanding, the youth population is close to 75 per cent of the population. These are people who are 35 years and below.
We need to determine that anybody below 35 years of age does not need to prove his or her financial credibility because at that level and age, they have not had an opportunity to earn any money. Even if you have been employed somewhere, you most probably have not been able to pay your loans if you had a loan in campus. My proposal is that we should pass a law to say that for anybody who is 35 years and below, what is needed is proof that the person is not a criminal. So, you can take your certificate of good conduct because that is a basic requirement.
In regards to other certificates like HELB and tax compliance certificates, I suggest that we make the decision that we will not be asking our young people to provide those kinds of documents. I say this because in Nyeri, one of the things that my office has done is to create a data pool for all the young people in my constituency who are looking for jobs. One of the biggest challenges that we keep facing is that every time somebody has an opportunity to go for an interview, they have to pay close to Kshs5,000 for the documents, and they still have to look for good suits so as to prepare themselves. Therefore, looking for a job requires Kshs5,000, and that does not guarantee somebody a job. I speak on behalf of many of my colleagues. We are trying to help these young people to access jobs. One of the things that the President’s Big Four Agenda has introduced is to create more than a million jobs. It seeks to create 1.29 million jobs to be exact. Many people who will be looking for jobs are the youth. One of my colleagues said that maybe we are scared that we are going to lose revenue from these payments but any money that we will lose in charges for these documents is going to be recovered immediately when these people get jobs through the PAYE. I, first and foremost, want to congratulate Hon. Faith Gitau for bringing this Motion. I strongly encourage all the Members to look at this as something that is going to benefit people at the local level because it is going to remove the costs. Sometimes you are forced, as a Member of Parliament, to go into your pocket to help somebody to go for an interview or to access the documents. Remember the people we are trying to help to get jobs are from poor backgrounds and can become partakers and contributors to the economy of this country. With those remarks, I support the Motion. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Very well. Before I give the Floor to the Member for Ndhiwa, Hon. Martin Owino, I see that the Deputy Majority Whip would like to speak to this Motion.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. Let me first congratulate the Mover of the Motion, Hon. Faith Wairimu Gitau, for Nyandarua County. It is a Motion whose time has come. It is very thoughtful and positive of her to think about not just the youth of her county, but the youth of this entire nation. It is true that the population of those below 35 years is about 75 per cent. It is important for us to know that the actual definition of a youth according to the laws of Kenya is one between 18 and 35 years. So, 35 per cent of this age bracket is factual. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) puts the unemployment rate at 12.1 per cent, which may sound very low and unrealistic but it is in relation to the available labour force in the country. Universities and tertiary institutions churn out a big number of young people every year. These people need jobs. As Members of Parliament, we all know that our offices are like employment agencies. You are like an employment agency for the youth in your constituency. Many times when you sit in your office to meet your constituents, at least a half of the people you meet are young people seeking for jobs. Therefore, any effort to make it easier for these young people to get jobs should be embraced by this House. That is why this Motion is important and of great importance to the young people as they seek for jobs. The requirements we have placed across the employment radar for high level Government officers, Members of Parliament and other jobseekers are the same. We all seek for tax compliance certificates, certificates of good conduct, Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) clearance certificates, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) clearance certificates and credit reference bureau clearance certificates. While those important documents are easily accessible by those of us who are in high offices, it is extremely difficult for young people who have no money to acquire them. We know that the Government has tried to take services closer to the people through the creation of Huduma Centres but, again, the requirement for young people to pay for those services is becoming a big hindrance. Many times, I have had to pay for many young people in this country – especially from my former constituency – so that they could acquire these certificates. Many of them cannot even afford certificates of good conduct. Therefore, waving this fee for youths aged between 18 and 35 years will go a long way in making it easier for them to acquire the jobs they require. Once in employment, you can begin to seek for the other certificates as required. One would wonder why you would need an EACC clearance certificate and a credit reference bureau certificate from a young man who has never worked. These are requirements that hinder young people, especially those from very poor backgrounds, from accessing employment. It is important to begin looking at it and ensure that they are able to get fair playing ground in order to get employment, whether it is in public or private sector. I rest my case and urge this House to pass this Motion. It is important that we all continue to think about young people, and on the issue of unemployment going forward. With those few remarks, I beg to support.
Hon. Martin Owino, before you speak, I would like to acknowledge the presence, in the Public Gallery, of pupils from Greenfield Primary School from Kesses Constituency, Uasin Gishu County; Kenya Navy Primary School from Likoni Constituency, Mombasa County; Lang’ata Junior Primary School from Lang’ata The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Constituency, Nairobi County; and Goshen School from Kuria West Constituency, Migori County. They are welcome. Hon. Martin Owino.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity. I rise to support the Motion. In my constituency, over 67 per cent of the youth are unemployed. Most of them are very poor and have no resources to even enable them to access the documentation we are talking about. I believe it is the responsibility of the State to provide for her citizens. So, the waiver proposal is very much in order. I also want to say that the establishment of the database should not only be at the national level but should be decentralised to the wards, constituencies and counties. When we were in high school, the professions that we wanted to…
Order, Hon. Owino! Hon. Gikaria, what is out of order?
You cannot book your time that way. He seems to have just made a mistake. You have the Floor, Hon. Owino.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was just trying to say that when we were in high school during those old days, the professions you wanted to be in were already in the high school itself. It was through the teachers or papers. So, we knew what we wanted to be. The same thing can be done with the job professions. For example, job counselling centres can be introduced along this as well as having a database presented to the colleges and universities so that when you qualify, you know what is required. Lastly, documentations can be required but let them be required in stages. For example, when you are going for interviews, that should be stage one. When you are given a job offer, that should be stage two. You cannot look for all documentations at the interview level and you are not even sure of getting a job. Some requirements do not make sense. The certificate of good conduct can be gotten in a few minutes if you have money. In fact, most of them do not reflect what a person really is. It is a waste of time; it is a waste of money. With those remarks, I support this Motion. Let job counselling centres go along with it. It will make it easier for people to access.
What is out of order, Hon. Makau? Member for Mavoko, what is your point of order? Can you give him the microphone? You can use the next microphone.
Thank you. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, it seems like all Members are in agreement with me. I am begging you allocate three minutes per Member. That is so that we dispense away with that Motion.
That is a proposal. Probably, you want to persuade the Members. There is a prevailing decision by the House on how much time should be allocated to the Members. That should be 10 minutes per Member. But, you could persuade your Members but that will not be binding.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand guided. Can I persuade them we be allocated five minutes per speaker?
Well. Order, Hon. Member. They have heard. We will see whether the next Member I will give a chance to speak has been moved by The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
your persuasion. That is a fair appeal on your part, to the Members. Let us see the Member for Sirisia.
Thank you very much Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker for giving me a chance. Many of my colleagues have spoken about this Motion. I rise to support it.
Yes, I am persuaded by the five minutes as you had proposed. Employment of the youth in this country has been a very big problem. As leadership, right from us as Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Government, need to look for a way for the youth to get employment. The database, as Members have contributed, is very important. We should look for a way so that our youth are not troubled. I want to persuade my colleagues in this House that our youth should get used to those payments. They should also struggle. We do not just want to propose that everything will be free for our youth. We come from different families. Many come from poor families. But they should also get used to paying. It is only one thing the Government requires them to pay. It is only one certificate from the police that is paid for. Others are free. There is no payment for the ones from the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) and Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). It is only the certificate of good conduct where youths are supposed to pay for. They have been paying. There is no youth who has complained that he or she cannot raise Kshs1,500 to pay for that certificate. The families we are talking about as being poor are ours. We know they can slowly pay for those certificates. I stand to support the Motion. It is very good. I encourage our youth to struggle. For the Higher Education Loans Boards (HELB) certificate, you can do without it for 10 to 15 years until you get a job. It is not a must you pay when you are not employed. Even Members should consider this country requires revenue.
Yes. Top on the list, to my left, is Hon. Mwadime Andrew, Member for Mwatate.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. At the outset, I support this Motion but these machines have a serious problem. It is good you check on them. I came before 9.30 a.m. and I remember I was the first person to be in this Chamber. I had put my card. In fact, I wanted to have some input on the Petition on roads. Unfortunately, I did not catch the Speaker’s eye. I did not remove my card. I left it ongoing. I am shocked it is over two hours. Members who came in after me got a chance to contribute first.
Please Member, you have time allocation.
I think I will seek the support from other Members on this Standing Order where leaders talk before other Members. I think we have to change that one.
Actually, I respect the Mover of this Motion. As it is, our students are in the age bracket of 18 to 35 years when they are leaving college. Asking these people for certificates from EACC or the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB) is unfair. As a banker, this CRB was not meant for such. It was meant for people who were moving round taking money from other banks so that you can refer them. It was not meant for students. These charges should be waived for our students. Imagine those who come from very remote areas. There are some constituencies or counties which are very wide in landmass. Telling them to go to Huduma Centres will cost a lot of money. Nowadays, you can apply for jobs for over three to four years. Those certificates expire The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
early in a year. So, it is very expensive for our young ones. Waiving those charges is in order because there is a big challenge for the youths in getting jobs. Giving them another burden does not augur well. My colleagues have said much on the same. I do not want to talk much. I support. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Top on the list on my right is Hon. Wanjira Wangari, Member for Gilgil.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I join Hon. Ngunjiri in noting that the population of the youth is actually more than 70 per cent. The biggest threat we have is not Al Shabaab, but the millions of Kenyans who are out there with no employment, hopeless and have nothing to lose. That is something that should not only worry us. It should worry the Government and everyone who is looking to a future for our children. Recently, there was a Government programme that was duped Kenya Youth Employment Opportunities Project (KYOP). When these applications were called in Nakuru County which was to be a pilot county, there was a clear requirement that they must be jobless and between the ages of 18 and 29 years. Out of the 30,000 youth that applied in Nakuru County, only 800 qualified. That tells you that there is a crisis. I do not know which country you are supposed to pay and prove that you are not corrupt. You pay to say you are not corrupt or to say you do not have any debt, or you have cleared your loan or you have started clearing your loan. These requirements are actually things you cannot comprehend. People from Gilgil have to go all the way to Nakuru. For you to go to Nakuru to a Huduma Center which you may not necessarily get the service that day, you spend more than the required Kshs4500 in terms of transport to Nakuru and sometimes you end up not getting that clearance. We cannot talk of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), equal opportunities and sustainable lives, if we do not have our youths being taken care of. This Motion was brought in the 11th Parliament. My problem with Motions is, they are usually swept under the carpet because the implementation is usually influenced by “I can do it if I like or if I do not” attitude. I want to urge the Mover of this Motion to look at the HELB Act and the laws that can be tightened, so that it does not end as a Motion. To the Committee on Implementation, if we are going to speak in vain as a House, because it has happened before, then it beats the logic what the role of Parliament in performing its duties is. Let the Committee on Implementation ensure that this is adhered to. Since we have done it before and we had a Presidential decree on the 30 per cent, we did the 30 per cent law in the last Parliament. Even if the monitoring is ongoing, at least it is in the law as an Act. Let us get it to be implemented. I know all of us have suffered. The enormous request we get in our offices to get people jobs are crazy. We know that everyone has been beaten by this problem. So let us get the solution. Let the Committee on Implementation take it up. As the Government pushes for the Big Four Agenda which include housing, manufacturing and food security, let us ensure we create more opportunities for the youth and this database has to be… we really must embrace technology. I will move a Motion on it later. I shudder when I see the issue of a simple birth certificate taking forever to process. We have 3,000,000 kids who have not been registered because of birth certificates. Why can we not have a system where when you have a birth certificate, by the time you reach 18 years, it is automatic that you have an ID, a voter’s card, and driving license? It is not supposed to be rocket science, let us have this technology being embraced by Government because it is not just by chance that they do not do it. These The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Government institutions must take it very seriously, that when there is a crisis that is when corruption thrives. Let us ensure that these issues are dealt with right from the registration of our children. That way, we can say 10 to 15 years down the line, we will not have the same problems we are having now. With those many remarks, I support.
Members, I would like to remind us one of the Procedural Motions that we passed which said that a Private Members Motion takes a maximum of two hours and each Member has five minutes to contribute. This particular Motion had a balance of one hour, three minutes and it started at 9.57 am. That means the Motion time must end at 11.00 in the next six minutes. I can tell there is a lot of interest but that was the decision by the House. Inevitably, we have to call the mover to reply but the Mover is sometimes persuaded to actually donate his or her time to colleagues. That is left to her. Mover, the Floor is yours.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I can see my chairman lifting his hand. I want to donate two minutes to him.
Who is your Chairman? Mention him by name. It must be Hon. Gikaria. Hon. Gikaria you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker and my dear sister Hon. Faith, Member of Parliament Nyandarua. I take this opportunity to support the Motion as indicated on the Order Paper. I want to take up from where Hon. Wangari, my dear sister left. It is true that the employment for the youth that was on a pilot program in Nakuru attracted 30000 applications and we just required 800. You can see the thirst of Kenyans. As Hon. Wangari has said, it is important for the Mover to look at the policies and the regulations in various Ministries and State Departments and indicate where these charges should be waived. With those few remarks, I support.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I will give one minute to the chair of Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA).
Who is the Chair of KEWOPA?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I would like to bring into consideration the fact that my Kirinyaga youth contribute to 60 per cent of the entire population and this has been a big hindrance for them especially when we talk about areas where these services are offered such as Huduma Centers and police stations where they get the certificate of good conduct. I would like to urge this House to look into the fact that some of the youth that are required to bring all these requirements such as HELB certificate when their highest level of education is Form Four, that is something that needs to be looked into as we seek to waive these charges.
Hon. Faith you now have the chance to reply. I am afraid you cannot donate any more.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to reply to this important Motion. Firstly, I would like to thank the Members for the overwhelming support to this Motion. I am glad that Members have noted the suffering that the youth of this country go through in search of employment. We cannot be seem to be punishing our unemployed youth by asking them to produce and pay for all these unnecessary documents before their applications can even be considered. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
We are asking them to travel all the way from their villages to Nairobi to come and get certificate from Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), Certificate of good conduct and Credit Reference Bureau (CRB). This is indeed unnecessary. As stated by majority of Members who contributed to this Motion, we must consider making it easy for our youths to get employment. We therefore must remove all the bureaucratic measures that only make our youths hopeless. I will follow up with the Ministry of Public Service, Youths and Gender Affairs to ensure that these payments are waived for the job seeking youths in this country and also to establish a database for all persons seeking employment. I humbly request Members of this House to approve this Motion that will go a long way in ensuring that our youths get employment without being stressed by the same Government. I beg to reply.
Hon. Members, I will defer the putting the question to some other time.
Hon. Catherine Waruguru, Member for Laikipia.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this great opportunity this morning in this august House. God has given us an opportunity to bring this conversation to the Floor and allow Kenyans to connect with what we do every day. We continue affirming to them what we feel, particularly about the problems facing them with regard to cancer. A Notice of Motion was moved on this Floor as regards to declaration of cancer as a national disaster. Thereafter, I embarked on a journey to find out the problems that a majority of Kenyans face, starting with the county that I represent - the great County of Laikipia. This disease affects the mighty, the poor, the small and the big. It does not matter who you are. If you come into contact with cancerous cells, you are in trouble. I wish to give a status report and a bit of statistics about what is happening in our country, and why I feel, as a House, we need to declare cancer a national disaster. We need to refresh our minds concerning what happened in 1998 when HIV/AIDS was declared a national disaster and all Kenyans diverted their attention to fighting it. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 8.2 million people die annually because of cancer and it is expected…
Order, Hon. Waruguru. What is it Hon. Wangari?
Sorry, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I did not plan to interrupt Hon. Waruguru but, according to the Standing Orders, can she move the Motion properly so that it is properly before the House before debate and so that we can all relate to it?
Say that again. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Just for the benefit of the new Members, she should move the Motion properly so that we can all contribute to the debate. She has not yet moved it. She is contributing and yet, she has not moved it according to the Standing Orders.
Hon. Wangari, I like your hawk eye. I am sure Hon. Waruguru is completely well guided.
Thank you for the reminder. It has been a long while. I beg to move the following Motion: THAT, aware that cancer causes more deaths than HIV, TB and Malaria combined; further aware that 30 per cent of cancers are curable if detected early; 30 per cent of cancers are treatable with prolonged survival if detected early; 30 per cent of cancer patients can be provided with adequate symptom management and care; deeply concerned that cancer is the third highest cause of morbidity in Kenya after infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases in the country; noting that effective treatment require availability of specialists, chemotherapy services, essential drugs for pain management and adequate infrastructure in treatment and avoidance of distant referral and delays in treatment administration; further, there is need for clear policies concerning terminal pain management, financial and human resources support and palliative care for cancer patients; this House urges the Government to declare cancer as a national disaster and establish a cancer fund to cater for cancer treatments and care. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, once again, I say thank you. We have been given a privilege as legislators to discuss matters affecting Kenyans every single day. As I said, cancer does not discriminate. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, if you come across cancerous cells in your body, you know you are in trouble. WHO estimates that 8.2 million people die annually of cancer and the numbers are expected to triple even as we move towards our Vision 2030 in Kenya and even in Africa. WHO says cancer kills 450,000 annually and that, by 2030, 1 million people shall die annually because of various diseases out of the cancerous cells. In the recent past, the death rate as a result of cancer is very high. I believe having cancer diagnosis equipment and being able to treat the disease in our own homeland would be a great milestone. It will cut down treatment costs and, to a great extent, it will help us to come closer to serving humanity the way our Constitution anticipates it to be – affordable healthcare. Healthcare is part of the Big Four Agenda that the Jubilee Government is advocating. Globally, cancer statistics reveal that it will cause more deaths than TB and malaria. Thus, there is a huge global cancer burden in developing countries like Kenya. However, if detected early, and which we want to affirm this morning, the effects of cancer can be slowed. In fact, it is possible to reduce drastically the high cost of treating cancer, which is affecting our families. With adequate symptom management and palliative care, we can control what is happening in Kenya today. According to Nairobi Registry - we have only one registry in Kenya where the bulk of the data is collected from for our referral hospitals - we have only 39,000 diagnostic cancer-related cases which have been reported. You realize that this data is not factual. We have more than 39,000 cases of cancer patients in this country. We do not have a registry which can inform us reliably on statistics from the grassroots all the way to the national level. Why do I feel, as a legislator, that cancer should be declared a national disaster? I managed to have a meeting with one Dr. Miriam Mutembi who is a breast and cervical oncologist at the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH). This was the finding of the AKUH. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The WHO had predicted that by the year 2020, there would be, at least, 20 million new cancer cases and that three-quarters of those cases will be from the developing countries. The leading cancer is breast cancer in women where 34 out of 100 women have cancer of the breast. Men also tend to be prone to prostate cancer as 17 out 100 men in Kenya have prostate cancer. Now, 70 to 80 per cent of the cases are detected at a late stage, that is, at the third and fourth stage. We have several factors that are back-tracking our fight against cancer in this country. This is probably some of the shortcomings in the system. We need to look at them as legislators. We need to look for answers and solutions which we can get, maybe, in the medium term and in the next one or two years so that, we can offer Kenyans a practical solution to the problems they are facing in the fight against cancer. First, there are inadequate facilities. May I bring to the attention of the House that we have Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital as the only two Government facilities which can attend to cancer patients. In all the referrals that are made from our 47 counties - a good number of our constituencies tend to converge at the two referral hospitals. It is because most Kenyans cannot afford to be attended to at private hospitals like the Nairobi Hospital or Aga Khan University Hospital. We also have Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, which is a public hospital. Those facilities are not enough to cater for the high number of cancer cases. For those patients who cannot access Nairobi Hospital, Aga Khan University Hospital or MP Shah Hospital, they tend to die in the villages because they cannot cater for the excess cost beyond what the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) card covers. The NHIF does not cover certain costs. The burden with regards to cancer is left to our private hospitals. Recently, we embarked on a campaign for the NHIF cards. I want to make this revelation to the Floor of the House that our NHIF cards do not cover 100 per cent of the costs for cancer patients in our country. It would only cover around 42 per cent and the rest of the burden is left to poor Kenyans who are dying. In the concluded Motion, you realize that majority of Kenyans are poor and do not even access formal employment. Most of those in informal employment do not regard the NHIF card as something serious. Human capacity is another problem. In the private sector, it is alleged that we only have 23 oncologists in Kenya. Those are doctors who have the relevant training to attend to our cancer patients. I want you to work out the distribution to our counties and the number of people we represent. In Laikipia, we have over 460,000 registered voters. Distribute those 23 oncologists to 47 counties. It is only practical and imaginable that Kenyans would not be treated. They would have to book for appointments 16 days before they can get services from a Government oncologist. In July 2010, one Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o was diagnosed with prostate cancer. This was a shocking revelation which left majority of us, as Kenyans, perturbed by imagining one Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o could be ailing. Sen. Beth Mugo has come out as a crusader. She is fighting against cancer. There are a good number of Parliamentarians who could be suffering from cancer. I would like to narrow my argument to Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o because he came out clearly advocating against cancer and telling Kenyans to come out in large numbers for sensitization and early detection. After his treatment in the USA, he stated clearly to Kenyans that using technology that was discarded 20 years ago to fight against cancer was only subjecting poor Kenyans to punishment - corporal punishment - which was damaging and deadly. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
After coming face to face with the cruelty of cancer, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o, was worried about the chances of his survival and that of those who are dear to him, the majority of Kenyans, who could not afford the treatment abroad. He opted to go public and sensitize Kenyans on the need to go for early screening. Once cancer is screened and detected at Stage 1, he clearly told Kenyans that it can be slowed down and it is curable. His brave decision to go public struck Kenyans who had been diagnosed with cancer, but who were less privileged. They would queue for months for old fashioned treatment with often non-functioning radiology machines at great costs. Those Kenyans would often fear to cater for the high cost at private hospitals and at public hospitals. May I quote the words of Senator Beth Mugo who said: “Our fear as Kenyans to go for early detection and screening is what will subject us to ridicule and will subject this country to the ridicule of a country which has failed to take care of the healthcare and the welfare of its citizens.” Those two high profile Kenyans clearly said that it will require intensive procedures. This would mean that Kenyans should be in a position… It should be easy even from our market and working places to be in a position to make sensitization…
Order, Hon. Waruguru, your time is up, but for you to just conclude that line of thought, you have three minutes.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me the three minutes. I thought I had 30 minutes to move the Motion. That is why I took my time. I stand guided.
You have 15 minutes. The Mover of an individual Motion… Remember I indicated that on the last Motion, but you have three minutes. There is a line of thought that you should conclude in those three minutes.
I have 15 minutes! Is it?
Hon. Member, you have three minutes to conclude.
Thank you. I will try to be fast. Like I said, I thought I had 30 minutes and I wanted to utilize my time. We need early detection. We need palliative care for patients in Stage 3 and Stage 4. Those are cancer patients who have been termed incurable. I want to propose the following recommendations to this House. I am requesting the House to allow us to declare cancer a national disaster so that the Government can establish a cancer fund. The main areas of action which I want to recommend to the House are prevention, early detection and cancer screening. There is also cancer diagnosis, registration, surveillance and establishment of a registry which is well elaborate to capture our cancer cases and we work from data from Government records. Thirdly, is the cancer treatment. This includes palliative care and survivorship because it does not mean that once in Stage 3 and Stage 4, you are doomed to die tomorrow. We require an elaborate coordination, partnership and financing of cancer control programmes. We require monitoring and evaluation and research in regards to cancer, standardization and regulation of pricing - fee and cost - for medical professionals. I must mention that Kenyans are subjected to over-pricing, which is consumer exploitation. The private sector tends to over-charge. They increase prices for some of the drugs charged at Government hospitals. If, for example, the NHIF card caters for chemotherapy and radiology, you will notice, it does not matter whether you are a first timer using that card. They The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
will always add some fees and costs which discourage majority of Kenyans from visiting private hospitals. Moving forward, we require more national referral hospitals such as the one in Mombasa, which was brought the other day by Hon. Jicho Pevu. We require, at least, 12 national referral hospitals so that we can distribute the burden across those hospitals. Finally, I would encourage Members, led by the Session’s Chair and the leadership of the House, Hon. Justin Muturi our Speaker and our Whip, Hon. Cecily Mbarire, to invite the Ministry of Health to bring us a camp and allow us, as Members, to be screened. Just as we were loud and encouraged members of society to be tested against HIV/AIDS, it is time that Kenyans come out clearly and boldly to be tested and screened against this disease.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beseech Members to support my maiden Motion even as we prepare for the Waruguru Cancer Bill which will be coming to the Floor of this House soonest. I call upon Hon. Owen Baya to second the Motion.
Hon. Waruguru, you left out an important tag. You beg to move.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I beg to move the Motion.
The seconder, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to second this Motion that cancer be declared a national disaster and funds be set aside for its treatment. As you will realise today in Kenya, the number of cancer patients has increased to about 40,000 per year. Also, you will realise that 28,000 Kenyans die each year of cancer which is 7 per cent of the deaths that occur in this country.
Cancer is ranked third among the killer diseases in this country. Therefore, there is need for it to be declared a serious disease in this country. People who suffer from cancer need to be given support and incentives so that they can realise good health. Presently, what ails this country in the cancer sector is lack of doctors. We do not have enough oncologists in this country to treat cancer and because of this cancer patients always die and the severity of their pain increases. That is not what we want for this country.
Secondly, diagnostic infrastructure is not readily available in this country. Apart from Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), we do not have any other hospital which can diagnose cancer and treat it. We are looking at a deliberate Government effort to increase diagnostic infrastructure in the country. In the Coast region one has to travel over 500 kilometers to KNH just to get diagnosis. Cancer screening centres in this country are hard to come by. Therefore, those who probably suspect they are ailing from cancer or a lab technician thinks they need diagnosis, struggle because they cannot get an opportunity to access a diagnostic centre.
This country needs to make deliberate attempts to solve this issue and one of the ways is by declaring cancer as national disaster. This will enable funds to be set aside for diagnostic infrastructure. Our thinking is that at least every county or sub-county hospital in this country should have a cancer screening unit with diagnostic equipment. That way, we will help the people suffering from cancer. Another important issue is cancer awareness. Hon. Waruguru has said that we need to act like we did with Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDs). We ensured that there was good awareness of the disease and people went for screening and testing. The same thing must be done for cancer.
Cancer issues must be discussed publicly in barazas, schools, colleges and every where there is a gathering, so that, there is awareness of the types of cancers, how to screen and where The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
to get treatment. This will ensure that we reduce the burden of cancer in this country. Another issue which must be looked at is cost. Today, cancer treatment and diagnosis is prohibitive in this country. You realise that if you want get screened or treated, you must have a lot of money, and therefore, many patients from poor backgrounds succumb to this disease. I can see the light is on. Just like the mover of the Motion was added some minutes, I am also requesting to be added some more time to allow me to finish on the various issues. Health is a devolved function and it is mandatory for counties to be equipped with enough diagnostic centres, medicine and doctors. Therefore, the counties health budget needs to be increase two folds to take care---
Hon. Baya, I will not accept to add you more minutes. I am sure you want the other Members to get enough time to contribute to this but you should beg to second.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, having spoken on the many issues, I beg to second this Motion. I urge my fellow Members to pass it. The mover should bring a Bill as soon as possible, so that, cancer is declared a national disaster and special funds are set aside to assist Kenyans suffering from this pandemic.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Very well. Hon. Members, I will propose the Question.
Hon. Members, I want to remind you what I had indicated earlier. Each Member has a maximum of five minutes. That is not to say, that you must exhaust them. If you decide to exhaust them, that is fine, but you cannot speak for more than five minutes. I will be guided by my screen here on how Members have registered and who registered first on both sides. I am sure we have some experts. I can see the Member for Seme looking at me. I have taken note of that. Let us have Hon. Odege Mboya, Member for Nyatike.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion which is before us. Allow me to start by congratulating my sister for the elaborate presentation she has made. When we talk about cancer there are so many fundamental questions we need to ask ourselves. First, why is it cheaper for us to treat our cancer patients in India compared to Kenya? This is a question which if we got an answer will help us to establish and manage this problem as a country. You can find that when you transport a patient from Kenya to India, including the air ticket, treatment and medicine it is still cheaper than managing cancer treatment in our own country, and we need to relook into this area. Another very important issue is the laxity in Government facilities. We are talking about management of cancer in KNH. I can tell you from the queue we have there a poor man who takes himself there will die before seeing a doctor. There is a lot of laxity and lack of systems in KNH to allow someone to walk in and get treatment. There is no system at KNH, which is a government facility, where somebody can walk in and get treated and go back to their home county, leave alone the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret. We need to go deeper. Now we are talking about our own technical staff trained to manage cancer. We should go deep and see how we bring people on board who can manage our own health system in our country. If we do not diagnose our own problem in management of cancer in this country, we will still continue losing our very best in this country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Secondly, before we concentrate on treatment, how do we go about creating awareness so that we can avoid contacting cancer in our country? An example is my constituency. When you go to mining sites in my constituency, there is still wide use of mercury in the area. We have made a lot of noise but the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) is sleeping. I even talked to the NEMA people but they are not doing enough to help us eradicate mercury usage in our country, which means a good percentage of our people are still exposed to cancerous bacteria and the trend will still continue. We need some measures to be put in place so that as we talk about treatment or cure, we also concentrate on how we help our people not to contact cancer. This is because the numbers are in the increase. We have to see how we can curtail it. On stigma, we fought HIV/AIDS for the last 30 years because of stigma. People were stigmatised and they were not even ready to declare their status. Again on cancer, if we do not make people believe that cancer is curable, we will still lose people on stigma because they think if you are diagnosed with cancer you are dead. So, when you realise you have cancer you shy away and you do not come out publicly to be assisted. You hide and die in denial. We need to make some good structures in this country which will make the poor and the rich benefit equally. I am suggesting that before rolling out the cancer treatment up to the county level, can we first re-examine KNH and MTRH and we see if those two hospitals can be of benefit to our people. As we are talking today, the queue they have because of lack of professionals is killing our people without us realising that our people are dying because they are not being treated. You go to Eldoret you stay there for one month without seeing the doctor. You are dead and transported home for burial and nobody will talk about it. So, we need to ensure that we have enough facilities, professionals and people who can manage cancer. If not, then we allow the Indian professionals to come and invest in the country so that they treat our people. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support the Motion.
Hon. ole Sankok David.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. Let me begin by saying that I support this Motion and congratulate my sister, Hon. Waruguru, for bringing such a very important Motion which touches on the lives of all Kenyans. This is an idea whose time has come. It is an idea that if we follow up to implementation stage will save thousands of Kenyans, will save lives and will save our country economically. Majority of cancer patients in this country are diagnosed at stages three and four simply because of lack of awareness. When we say that cancer should be declared a national disaster it is surely an idea which we need to go out there and create awareness so that our fellow Kenyans are aware that cancer can be treated when in stage one or two. I am speaking with a lot of pain because I am still mourning a brother we lost because of liver cancer. As the disability fraternity, we are mourning a hero of disability and a man who got his disability through a road accident. Both arms were amputated from the shoulders and one leg was amputated from the hip. So, the late Robert Sial has been surviving on only one leg and he graduated with a degree in ICT from the University of Nairobi. He has been an ICT expert at the Kenya Electricity Generation (KenGen) Company. We lost him recently because of cancer. Most of us were not even aware that he was suffering from cancer of the liver. He went to hospital and he was just being diagnosed of other diseases like typhoid and others. What I am saying is that cancer has touched all Kenyans. Every Kenyan is one way or the other affected by cancer either directly by losing a family member or by contributing in the so called fundraising to raise funds for the treatment of these people and for the burial of the victims The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
of cancer. Therefore, we really need to come out clearly. The Government should put in measures to make sure that we curb this menace and pandemic because it is really affecting us seriously. At the moment, we are told that 8.2 million people in the world are suffering from cancer and this figure will triple by the year 2030. What can we do as a country to prevent such an increase in the suffering of our fellow Kenyans? We should see into ways of preventing cancer from developing in the first place. As the Member from Nyatike has said, we are aware of chemicals that can cause cancer. We are aware of our misuse of chemicals. If you go to our farms, somebody can spray their farms with insecticides today early in the morning and in the evening, those products are in the market to be sold. These are contributing to cancer cases. We need NEMA to really tighten their belt and up their game so that we can prevent this disease. This is because some cancers are easily preventable. Without taking much time, I really do support this Motion and I ask my sister, Hon. Waruguru, to speed up so that we can have a Bill on the same and it can urgently be declared a national disaster because it is actually a national and a worldwide disaster. Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Let us now have Hon. Mutua Barasa, Member for Kimilili.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support this Motion. I urge the Committee on Implementation to ensure that once this Motion is approved, it must be implemented. I usually ask myself one question. Why is it that a young man found drinking chang'aa is arrested but no action is taken against an institution that fails to implement a law that has been passed and signed by the President? Failure to follow the law and failure to implement it is one and the same. We spend a lot of time thinking and researching in this House to pass Bills but once they are signed into law by the President, institutions do not implement them. Cancer is a very serious disease that is taking away lives of productive Kenyans. We must support this Motion whose time has come. As you are aware, an idea whose time has come cannot be stopped. In the same spirit, I have seen very many Kenyans even selling their ancestral land to seek cancer medication in India and other parts of the country. It is high time that the government of the day also sacrifices by committing a good chunk of its money in setting up a cancer fund to assist the cancer patients in this country. I want to see a scenario where many Kenyans walk into health facilities for free cancer screening and treatment. The development agenda of this country is slowed down by the high rate of deaths emanating from cancer. I am curious to see how the Committee on Implementation will move to ensure that this Motion is implemented after it has been given a go-ahead by this House and the President. I also want to ensure that going forward, once a Bill has been approved and assented into law by the President, we should have a timeline of how it will be implemented. I am sure that we can take six months to implement these kind of Bills once approved, to avoid the scenario of passing Bills yet three years down the line, nothing has been implemented. The Committee on Implementation should come up with a timetable or schedule of events or activities that would be followed to ensure that the many Bills that we pass as a House are implemented. With those few remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Let us have Hon. Dawood Rahim, Member for North Imenti. That Member seems to have surrendered his chance. Let us have Hon. Kogo Kipng’etich.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I appreciate this Motion. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
If what I see in Chesumei is anything to go by, then we need to declare cancer as a disaster in our country. We have lost many people for quite some time. If you look at the statistics, they show that there is an increase in the number of patients and those who have lost their lives because of this menace. As other colleagues have mentioned, people have lost lives. Some of them were very productive members of this country and others the breadwinners of their families. Unfortunately, currently, we have had to support even the children of those families who have lost their parents through cancer. It is high time that we refocus on the same. We need to understand why there is a rise in the number of patients suffering from this disease. Therefore, I urge the Ministry of Health to come up with research centres so that we understand why this is happening at this time. We do not need to look at the statistics that have been mentioned by all those other institutions. Just look at the constituencies where we come from and the counties. We need to refocus more on prevention and sensitisation. We need to mobilise people to appreciate the fact that this is a serious issue. We need to think beyond just the basics that it is just a disease like any other. Therefore, I join the rest of the Members who have supported this Motion that it should be declared a disaster in our country. We need to look beyond coming up with a fund. Cancer screening and treatment should be free so that our people can be supported as far as this issue is concerned. I support the Motion and urge Members to support it so that this disease can be controlled and our people can be saved from this problem in our country.
From my left, let us have Hon. Oluoch Tom, Member for Mathare.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. This Motion is very close to my heart. Other than this Motion, there are only two other things that should be declared a national disaster alongside the cancer scourge. The only two things that, in my view, would befit the standing of a national disaster would be youth unemployment - which I would have contributed to in the debate earlier – and the third one after this is the issue of environmental degradation. As I rise to support this Motion, I want to state that one of the things that we need to deal with when talking about cancer is the issue of stigma and early diagnosis. I speak from experience because my dad has just completed his first session of the last six months of cancer. One of the things that we had to deal with as a family even after his early diagnosis is whether or not he would accept to go for treatment. We need to spread awareness so that people realise that a cancer diagnosis is not a death sentence. This can and has been reversed. I laud Kenyans like Professor Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o, who not only braved the cancer treatment but has come out to talk about it. Just last night, I lost my aunt, Auntie Okinda. I received the news this morning. She was a woman who has bravely fought the cancer battle but lost it last night. As we think about such people and other people like my Auntie Beth, who are still fighting cancer but bravely bearing the struggle, we ask that the best practices be adopted such as in Makueni. Makueni County adopted universal healthcare through the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF). As we declare cancer as a national disaster, all the other counties should adopt such strategies. Makueni County, as I have read, allocated about Kshs160 million to NHIF. Even though the NHIF card only meets 40 per cent of the cost of cancer treatment, this can be a new beginning. As we deal with this issue, it is important that we also consider that the statistics are very scary. As has been said before, cancer accounts for about 8.8 million cases of deaths from 2015. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
This is not only prostate or breast cancer but also other forms of cancer. This country ought to take this very seriously. Lastly, we need to give due attention to prevention. As we talk about cancer treatment, diagnosis and management, what are we doing about prevention and lifestyle? There are a lot of things that we need to do in terms of raising awareness among our people. We give processed foods to our children. The kind of things that our children eat and the lifestyle we live contribute a great deal to cancer. We should give due attention to awareness and prevention. I support this Motion.
I must now give an opportunity to a female Member. Top on my list is Hon. Cecily Mbarire. You have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I once again rise to support another very important Motion that has been tabled by Hon. Cate Waruguru. I congratulate her for tabling this Motion.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, today’s Motion has reminded me of 1995 when the then President of Kenya, Daniel Moi, declared Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) a national disaster. At the time, the HIV prevalence rate in Kenya was at 10.5 per cent. At the same time, when you were declared HIV positive, you knew that was a death penalty waiting for you. After declaring it a national disaster, the Government scaled up awareness creation efforts and campaigns, and treatments and care. As at 2016, HIV prevalence level had come down from 10.5 per cent to 5.9 per cent. Therefore, we have done this before and we have seen it work. It is about time we did the same on the issue of cancer.
Today, you are safer to be diagnosed with HIV than cancer in this country. Many people know that once you are told you have cancer, you will die because of the efforts and the kind of treatment we receive here. How do we change that narrative? This Motion is the beginning of that effort. What is more worrying about listening to Hon. Catherine Waruguru is that the leading cancer case is breast cancer. Out of 100,000 women, 34 have breast cancer and 25 have cervical cancer. There is also prostate cancer. Any doctor can tell you that if these cancers are detected early, they can be treated. Therefore, there is need to first declare cancer a national disaster and then scale up our efforts on awareness creation, so that every woman and man across the country may understand the need to go for tests. It is also important to make these tests available at the lowest level of healthcare facility, which is the dispensary. Today, we are doing HIV tests and screening from health facilities at the dispensary level all the way to the national level. We should do the same for cancer, so that every year every woman can go for tests on breast cancer and cervical cancer. It is mandatory that every woman in her reproductive age must be tested at least once per year. We can even go further and make sure that every man gets tested of prostate cancer at least once per year, so that we can detect these diseases early and spend less on their treatment.
I am hoping that we can even go further. I came to this House in 2003. I remember when HIV\AIDS was made a national disaster; Members of Parliament who were in the Kenya Young Parliamentary Association went out there in public and did HIV\AIDS tests publicly. Let us also do the same for cancer so that we lead by example. We should heed the voices of Hon. Beth Mugo and Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o who have been through it. They have walked this walk and they understand the suffering of Kenyans. If we do this, we will stop spending so much money on cancer and suffering in families. We can save women and men who are suffering and dying of cancer when it is absolutely unnecessary. There was a question which was asked by a Member earlier: why is it that it is cheaper to treat cancer in India but not here in Kenya? Why is it that The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
every year, over 10,000 Kenyans travel to India for cancer treatment but they cannot get that treatment here at the same amount or cheaper? We need to look at that so that we can make this treatment cheaper for all Kenyans.
With those many remarks, I beg to support the Motion.
Hon. Nyikal, hold on. I am not giving you the Floor now. I am delaying giving you an opportunity because you have expertise in the area of health and that is acknowledged. It is good for you to hear the other Members and then at some point come in. It helps. You will get a chance in a short while.
Hon. Mwagogo, Member for Voi.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I wish to support this Motion because of its importance.
One, we need to look more at the prevention services than treatment. Over the years, cancer has been a big problem in this country. I suggest that we should have more centres in the country. We should have one centre in the former provincial headquarters, so that our people can be served within their locality instead of all of them travelling to Nairobi for the same treatment.
The other thing is that our lifestyles must change. We should talk to our people. We should engage them. There are so many things which cause cancer like local brews. Some of them are brewed in the morning and they are ready for consumption in the evening. These are dangerous things which can cause cancer. It is important to establish a cancer fund. What do we do to ensure that people know their status early to prevent late diagnosis of cancer? I support this Motion, but we must tell our people that they should go for tests early enough. The men, women and everybody else should do the same so that they know their status. The treatment overseas is very costly. I am sure the Government can save a lot of money, so that we can have our own medical tourism in this country by having these services made available to the rest of the East African Community (EAC).
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, I beg to support.
Hon. Nyikal Wambura, Member for Seme, you have the Floor now.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity to contribute. I must start by congratulating the Member for bringing this Motion. I stand to support it because this is something that is long overdue.
The declaration of cancer as a national disaster and setting up a fund are key issues in this Motion. This is something that we have been aware of from as far back as 2005 when it was noted that unless something is done, we will have a double burden of disease. This means that we have infectious diseases like Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria and we are also getting into a heavy burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension and cancer. That has now come to be. Whereas we are saying that cancer is killing more people than malaria and TB, more people get the infectious diseases, but they do not die because they are treatable. We have the burden of infectious diseases which we can treat and a burden of non-infectious diseases, specifically cancer, which is harder to treat. The danger then will be shifting money from the infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases because of the deaths that we have experienced and risk-reversing. It is still important to focus on them, but more in terms of prevention than treatment. I say that because treatment is extremely expensive. The money that is used to buy one cancer machine can treat many million kids who have malaria. However, we cannot say we will not treat cancer patients because we are treating malaria patients. We must do The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
this together. If we have this national disaster status and set up a cancer fund, the question will be on how to use the money in that fund. My view is to look at prevention, early screening and treatment. That is important. The main reason we are seeing many cancer patients is because of changing lifestyle. We eat a lot of foods that have been processed in factories and have a lot of chemicals in terms of preservatives. We are exposed to a lot of chemicals from factories where we work. That change of environment is another factor we need to look at.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the other reason is the increasing life expectancy. People are living longer now than they did before. So, they have a higher chance of getting cancer. If you live long enough, you will get cancer. As life expectancy increases, we get more cases of cancer.
When we get the fund, what shall we do? We should focus on awareness: awareness, awareness and awareness. Why do I recommend awareness? First of all, we have to know the other diseases giving us the biggest burden now. Basically, they are about four: cancer of the breast, cancer of the cervix, prostate cancer and gastrointestinal cancer. Cancer of the breasts and cancer of the cervix in women and prostate cancer in men can all be detected very early and stopped from progressing. Cervical cancer has a vaccine now; the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine which countries like Tanzania have started giving to teenage girls. So, if we go for screening, we can prevent them. The other thing about the cervical cancer is that it can be screened at a health centre by just looking at the cervix and painting it with something as simple as lugol’s iodine. At that point, the treatment is very easy and can be done at health centres. We were trying to establish this by the year 2008.
Hon. Nyikal, I appreciate your expertise in this area and give you three more minutes.
The easiest way of detecting breast cancer in our environment apart from getting a mammography is through breast examination. We should educate all our women on how they can examine their breasts, and with a tongue in the cheek, men can also examine breasts of their spouses for medical purposes, not for other purposes. If we can do that early, any mass in the breast will be examined. If those two measures are taken: vaccination in children for cervical cancer, early examination for cervical cancer and breast cancer, we will cut down the number tremendously.
For men, I ask my colleagues here that with medical insurance we have, at least, we should get an annual screening for prostate cancer. Once we get that, we will cut down the prevalence of these cancers by more than 50 per cent. If we were to start that programme today, in ten years, we will be seeing, probably, a quarter of what we have now.
I support that cancer be declared a national disaster in order to give it focus and get funds and get a programme geared towards awareness, prevention, early detection and early treatment. Thank you.
As soon as I get on the screen, a lady Member registering interest to contribute, I will give her a chance.
I am here.
Order, Hon. Jumwa, you have to register with your card and it has to reflect on my screen. You have the Floor.
Ahsante sana, Naibu Spika wa Muda kwa kunipa nafasi hii ili niunge mkono Hoja hii ambayo imeletwa na Mhe. Waruguru. Nampongeza sana kwanza kwa fikira ambayo inaguza kila Mkenya katika taifa letu. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Ugonjwa wa saratani ni mmoja katika ya magonjwa sugu ambayo yamehangaisha jamii zetu. Kuna umuhimu ama haja ya ugonjwa huu wa saratani kutangazwa janga la kitaifa. Vile vile kuwe na hazina maalum ambayo itashughulikia maradhi haya ambayo ni mazito sana.
Wenzangu waliotangulia kuongea ni wataalamu pia katika Jumba hili wametoa sauti zao. Kutokuwa na ufahamu kuhusu vile ugonjwa huu unavyoletwa na nini ama vipi inaanza ni jambo linalochangia pakubwa sana. Wakati ufahamu unapopatikana baada mtu kuzuru vituo vya afya, huwa tayari imeshachelewa. Shirika la Afya Ulimwenguni limetoa takrimu ambazo zinatutia hofu. Ugonjwa huu kujulikana kwa haraka inakuwa ni vigumu. Watu wengi hufaamu kuwa wako na saratani wakati wanatembelea kituo cha afya na kupatikana tayari ugonjwa umeshafika kiasi cha asilimia 70 hadi 80. Kwa hivyo, inakuwa kazi ngumu kuthibithiwa. Yote haya yanatokea kwa sababu ya kutokuwa na ufahamu.
Kuna sheria ambayo tayari imeshapitishwa kama Cancer Control and Prevention Act,
ambayo inaangalia masuala ya kuzuia, kuthibithi na matibabu katika taifa letu la Kenya. Lakini sheria kama hizi zimepewa kisogo na Serikali. Hazipewi kipau mbele na hazina ufadhili wa kutosha wa kuziwezesha kulishughulikia suala la kukinga, kuthibithi na hata kutibu saratani. Vipengele vya 4 na 20 vya sheria hii…. Ni vyema sisi kama Wabunge ambao tunaadhiriwa na jambo hili moja kwa moja kwa kuhusika katika michango kusaidia wagonjwa katika maeneo yote kwa njia moja ama nyingine ili wapate matibabu... Majibu tunayoyapata baadaye si ya kuridhisha. Mara vifo vinatokea wakati tumechanga pesa zetu kiasi ili mgonjwa apate matibabu. Ndio maana nataka nimpongeze Mhe. Waruguru. Kuna umuhimu wa kuwa na hazina ili itumike mashinani kwa kuhamasisha jamii na hatimaye watu wakijua hali yao mapema, maana Shirika la Afya Ulimwenguni linatuambia kuwa saratani ikijulikana mapema inaweza kutibithiwa na kutibiwa. Kwa hivyo, kupatikana kwa ufahamu wa mapema ni jambo la muhimu.
Taasisi zilizoko kama Kenya Cancer Registry inatupea tarakimu zinazotusaidia katika mipangilio ya kuhakikisha ya kwamba tunazitengea mgawo wa kutosha ili zihakikishe ya kwamba... Naunga mkono.
Hon. Aisha Jumwa, you were correct. You are actually in the system, but in different names that are not ordinarily known. It reads Hon. Katana Karisa.
That is my surname.
Oh, now we know. You are correct. You are in the system. Let us now have Hon. Wangaya Aseka, Member for Khwisero.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion. I appreciate that cancer is a deadly disease which has caused more harm than good to the common population in this country. The fundamental question that we should ask ourselves as a nation is why we are at this state and when we reached here. My honest submission on this is that the blame game should go back to the Ministry of Health. The Ministry of Health has failed this nation because it has strategies that do not address cancer issues. The Ministry of Health has focused on curative as opposed to preventive strategies in addressing the cancer menace. As hon. Members have said, it is in order that we synergise our efforts towards preventive as opposed to curative measures. Research has it that when detected The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
early, cancer is treatable. Let us invest more in preventive strategies to ensure that cancer does not progress to incurable stages in order for us to avoid investing in curative strategies. Why are we not vaccinating our young girls yet we have a vaccine? We have seen the Ministry invest in immunisation and vaccination in respect of other diseases but we have never seen any effort put by the Ministry of Health towards vaccinating our young girls against cervical cancer. As much as we declare cancer a national disaster, we need to revisit where we experienced challenges or where we failed as a nation. To me, it is screening and improving the coverage of screening. We are living in a country where we are not all the same. If you put a screening centre at the district headquarters, we are not taking care of the common person who operates from the village. We need to implore upon the Ministry of Health to ensure that the coverage of screening and surveillance on this is addressed as early as possible. Lastly, it is in book that cancer is also caused by lifestyle – the food substances that we take. Has the Ministry come up with a policy to address the issue of nutrition? We need nutritionists to help us in dietary changes. We need to look at how many nutritionists we have in terms of distribution and coverage within the nation so that we teach our people the best dietary behaviour. Lastly, we also need to look at the health policies that govern cancer treatment and management. Before we declare cancer a national disaster, which policies do we have in place within the Ministry of Health that are going to support this declaration? I support the Motion.
Very well. Should we now have Hon. Martin Owino, Member for Ndhiwa?
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I thank the Member who brought this Motion. I am very passionate about this Motion because I have lost so many people in my constituency. Non-cutaneous malignancies can be well treated if found on time. We do not need to do more duplication. We have community strategy which is very elaborate. We are moving from hospitals to households. We did very well with malaria and we are doing much better. We can now diagnose malaria and treat it at home. In the same vein, there is what we call the “3D syndrome”. Decisions should be made quickly on how to get a patient to hospital and have him attended to quickly. The 3Ds are the real cause of problems in so far as disease management is concerned. I suggest that, as we declare this disease a national disaster, we also invest more in the preventive aspects. Prevention has to start from within the household so that decisions can be made and support provided at the household level. We can then move to the second tier, which would involve screening of girls. People have to be persuaded to go for screening. Even if we avail such services but people are not supported from the household unit, they will still shy away because of fear and unawareness of the factors that prevail. It is also important to know that we have an elaborate private sector, which should partner with the Government to ensure that cancer is reduced. It is not an exaggeration. In 2005, we had 18,000 deaths in this country. That figure has since shot to 28,000. That is an alarming trend. Children are most affected by leukemia. I suggest that as we declare cancer a national disaster, we put more funds in education. It can be group education or one-on-one education, plus counselling. That way, many people can come out to be tested. I was so happy to hear that Members of Parliament can champion this initiative. That is welcome. When a bad phenomenon is declared a national disaster, things move. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
I was involved in lobbying President Moi to declare HIV/AIDS a national disaster when I was working with the National AIDS and STIs Control Programme (NASCOP). It made a difference. Let us do the same for cancer. Research is a very important part of these efforts. There are lots of environmental and nutritional issues involved as well as the entire lifestyle that one leads. We cannot just wait to treat. It is good to have centres of excellence but prevention and screening is the major part of this intervention. I want to conclude by saying that, like any other policy or Bills passed in this House, let us improve our implementation. We can talk here, declare cancer a national disaster and do everything, but if implementation is not done in the right way in terms of funds being channelled for the right cause, we will continue talking about this issue endlessly. Education, screening, diagnosis and treatment are the best strategies for intervening in this respect. With those remarks, I support the Motion.
Hon. Arbelle Malimo, Member for Laisamis, you have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I also rise to support this Motion, which seeks to have cancer declared a national disaster. Cases of cancer are skyrocketing in Kenya today, especially in Marsabit County where I come from. Sometimes back, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, the Kenya Television Network (KTN) aired a programme in which they named my county “The Desert of Death”. Many people in my constituency die as a result of cancer cases. Many children die. Many adult people die. Cases of cancer are being reported until today. Nothing much is done.
Sometimes back in the years 1995 to 1998, there was a petroleum company which was doing oil and gas exploration in my constituency. It is believed to be the one which deposited toxic materials underground. It could be the cause of cancer in my constituency. I will find it prudent if the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is put to task to investigate by testing the soil, the water and even the vegetation to find out whether that is the cause of cancer killing my people or not.
A lot of people have died of cancer. Unfortunately, nothing in terms of compensation has been paid to them. The fact that this Bill is talking about compensating those people by creating a fund to means it will also be prudent if we create a database to capture each person who has died of cancer and those who are living with it. Imagine people in the villages and how vulnerable they are. They cannot afford their medication. Cancer is becoming very expensive. All kinds of ailments follow people. If you go to hospitals, you will find that people cannot afford medical care. It will be better if we create this fund so that we can benefit those people. I support this Motion.
Hon. Mutemi, Member for Mwingi Central.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I rise to support this Motion on cancer by Hon. Waruguru. Cancer leads to more deaths than HIV and AIDS at the moment. One in every six deaths is out of cancer. In the world, cancer is the second largest killer. Recently this House lost a Member due to cancer. We have had firsthand experience in this 12th Parliament. Cancer does not choose. Seventy per cent of cancer cases happen in the low and middle income countries where Kenya lies. Therefore, we are mostly affected by this disease. It is very expensive to treat. It is unaffordable by a majority of Kenyans because we are poor. For example, the cost of treating The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
cancer, one session, is between Kshs35,000 to Kshs500,000 based on the hospital you are in. You need about 30 continuous sessions to be treated. Unless you have medical cover, it is very difficult to afford cancer treatment even for ourselves. Therefore, most people end up dying because of the disease. We conduct a lot of Harambees or fundraisings down in the villages. We support a lot of people who are suffering from this disease. As Members of Parliament, we are mostly affected by those who are suffering from the disease. Unlike HIV, cancer is treatable yet it still remains the main killer. It can be treated if it is detected early. This Motion has come at the right time. It should be adopted and fast-tracked so that Kenyans can get medical care. We have 40,000 cases every year in Kenya. 27,000 Kenyans die every year. 14 million cases happen every year in the world. 9 million people die. It is sad because most of those affected are the working class. Over 60 per cent are those below 70 years of age. We are losing a lot of people who can build this economy. I want to support this Motion so that Kenyans can get access to treatment. I propose that we create awareness, free diagnosis in the country and also reduce management costs of the disease so that Kenyans can access treatment of cancer. With those few remarks, I support. Thank you.
Before I get to my right side, let me give Hon. Osotsi Godfrey a chance.
Thank you Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute to this very important Motion. Cancer is a big challenge not only to this country but globally. As my colleague has said, cancer is one of the leading killers globally. In fact, it is the leading killer if you compare it to HIV.
Order, Hon. Members. What is it, Hon. Mbai? You seem to have put an intervention and quickly removed it. I guess it was a mistake. You need to be on record. What are you saying? Could you give him the microphone? What is out of order, Hon. Mbai?
Sorry, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. My intentions were not to come on a point of order. I was trying to switch on the system for me to address this matter.
Very well. Use the right button, Hon. Mbai. Yes, Hon. Osotsi. You now have the Floor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I was saying cancer kills more people than TB, HIV and Malaria combined. This is a big challenge to us as leaders in this country and as policy and law makers. One of the challenges we have in this country is that we come up with very good laws and policies but we are unable to implement them. We have legislation in place to manage issues to do with cancer; the National Cancer Control and Prevention Act. A lot of issues contained in this law have not been implemented. This is one issue that Parliament must address, that very good things in our laws and policies have not been implemented. Hence, Kenyans continue suffering. The National Cancer Control and Prevention Act proposes the creation of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). As we are speaking, no one knows about this institute. This institute is not properly funded. It cannot deal with the challenges of cancer we are facing as a country. One of the things we need to do and I am speaking as the Vice Chairperson of the Committee on Implementation, is to insist that those who are mandated within Government to implement some of these things do so. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
The other day, we called the Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Industrialization to come and explain to us why the Steel Metal Act has not been implemented. This is a problem in the Government. Most Bills and Motions that have been passed here have not been implemented. What is contained in this Act and particularly the National Cancer Control Strategy 2012-2017, is very ambitious. It is talking about prevention, and all these strategies to counter cancer. The question is, why has it not been implemented? This is a serious question that we should be asking ourselves as parliamentarians. This is because without proper implementation mechanism, many of the good things that we are talking about will not be implemented. The World Bank feasibility study indicates that for you to have a working and functional cancer unit, you need between Kshs1.5 billion to Kshs2 million. It is time this country does a cost benefit analysis. Why would we spend Kshs40 billion on leasing equipment, when we can spend Kshs1.5 billion to set up a cancer unit in every county? We need to review our priorities as a country. Sometimes the leased equipment is not used. Money is wasted every year in the counties. Can we instead use that money to set up a properly functional and equipped cancer center in every county, so that we are able to deal with many challenges we are facing? Most importantly, prevention is key because up to 30 per cent of cases which are discovered in time can be handled. However, as a country, we do not focus on prevention, the focus is on cure. It is important that the Ministry of Health puts in place mechanisms to ensure that there is proper prevention…
Hon. Osotsi, your time is up. I am sure your point is made. Hon. Chelule, Member for Nakuru County.
Ahsante sana, Naibu Spika wa Muda, kwa kunipatia nafasi hii ili nichangie Hoja hii ambayo inaongea juu ya saratani. Saratani ni ugonjwa ambao imetatiza wananchi wote. Hatusemi huu ni ugonjwa unaoadhiri eneo Bunge moja na haiadhiri nyingine. Tunaelewa wananchi wameumia sana kwa sababu ya ugonjwa huu. Ningependa kuchukua nafasi hii kumpongeza Mbunge ambaye ameleta Hoja hii ili tujadiliane na tukubaliane kama Wabunge kuwa ugonjwa huu unafaa kutengewa pesa. Umma unahitaji kuelimishwa juu ya ugonjwa huu kwa sababu ni ugonjwa ambao, ukijulikana kwa wakati mzuri, unaweza tibiwa na mtu apone. Shida kubwa ni kuwa ni ugonjwa ambao unapata watu pale nyumbani, vijijini na mijini. Ugonjwa huu ukipatikana kwa wakati mzuri, unaweza kutibiwa. Ikipatikana kwa wakati uliyochelewa, huwa kwa kawaida unatatiza wananchi sana. Watu wengi wameuza mali yao na wakapata shida nyingi sana kwa sababu ya saratani. Tunapoongea sasa hivi, kuna watu ambao wamelala hospitalini na wengine nyumbani na wengine wameshindwa na matibabu. Kwa hivyo, ni vyema Serikali itilie maanani kwa kutenga pesa kwa ugonjwa wa saratani. Kwanza ni muhimu kuwe na elimu ya umma kuhusu ugonjwa huu. Pili, ni muhimu kupeleka huduma hizi vijijini ili wananchi wachukue wakati wao kwenda kupimwa ndio ijulikane kwa wakati unaofaa. Mtu akipatikana nayo, iwe ni kwa wakati unaofaa, wakati wanaweza kupata matibabu na wapone. Naunga mkono Hoja hii, na pia Mbunge aliyeileta. Nina hakika kuwa Wabunge wote wataipitisha na kuhakikisha kuwa Serikali imetenga pesa kwa sababu ya Hoja hii. Ni ya maana sana na sisi sote tutafurahi. Ni jukumu letu kama viongozi kuelimisha wananchi kwa kutumia njia yoyote ili kuhakikisha kuwa watu wamepata elimu na wamepimwa kwa wakati unaofaa ili wapate matibabu.
Asante sana, Naibu Spika wa Muda. Naunga mkono Hoja hii. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Dawood Rahim, Member for North Imenti.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. At the outset, I would like to join my colleagues in supporting this Motion by Hon. Catherine. It is a good Motion because it brings to the fore what ails our country. Cancer is something which we can talk about the whole day and not get a solution. Most people either suffer from cancer or have someone in the family suffers from it. To my male colleagues, I would suggest that you go for prostate screening not just a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA), because it is one of the number one killers for men. The other day I was reading in the Times Newspaper of England, that it is the leading cause of death even there. When we talk about cancer, it does not only affect one individual, we are talking about families who have been affected. We need something to assist us get this funding. Cancer needs to be declared a national disaster. As it is today, Meru County has the highest number of people with cancer related cases at Kenyatta National Hospital.
Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, we do not need to bury our heads in the sand when our people are dying, and wait for the Government to respond. We, together with the private sector need to establish hospices all over the country. We had a hospice which was supported by Lady Diana Fund. A couple of years back, the Fund was pulled back. As we speak, there is no funding for hospices which gives palliative care. We need to look at other places where we can get funding for those hospices. I am a patron of the Meru Hospice and I know they have gone through trouble getting medicines for people who are suffering from cancer. I wish one day we could all go to the hospices that the cancer patients go to and see the sorry state they are in because of lack of medicines. We cannot help them much but we can assist in the pain reduction by giving them medicines. It is imperative that as a country we should have a proper policy on how we will treat our cancer patients. Being a major killer, it takes even the productive people in the society, people who are under 70 years of age. Some are in their 20’s and 30’s. I remember there was a harambee we did for someone in my constituency. He did not even last a year after being diagnosed with cancer and he was only 30 years old. He left a family behind.
So, we need to establish a fund that will cater for the treatment of cancer patients in this country because most of the patients do not have people to take care of them. We need to even go further and establish cancer hospitals. I am thankful to the Government of India which gave us the Berber throws, but we need more of those. We do not need one. We need many all over the country so that we can detect and treat cancer much earlier. This Motion is very good and I hope the mover will follow up on its implementation with the Committee on Implementation. In the last Parliament, we passed so many Motions which never came to fruition. They have been lying on the shelves without any action being taken on them. Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, with those few remarks, I would like to congratulate the mover and ask her to move forward and make it a Bill. Thank you.
We have quite a number of Members who have an interest and there is a bit of time. We have 15 minutes actually. If the Members who get a chance are persuaded, this is not binding to them, to take a bit shorter time so that their colleagues get the remaining minutes, it will be okay. But this is not binding on them. They have a maximum of five minutes each. To my left is Hon. Mwambire Ngumbao, Member for Ganze. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I stand to support this Motion. It has come at the right time looking at the issues in the country. We have been having a number of issues, particularly if you look at the number of deaths and patients that we have across the country - it is very big. We have another challenge which I think the country must put into consideration. The number of our qualified doctors who can handle issues of cancer in this country is very minimal. We need to make sure that we increase the number. We should set aside some funds to make sure that more specialised doctors are trained so that they can handle these issues. With those few remarks, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, based on what you have told us to observe time so that others can get an opportunity, I stand to demonstrate my support.
I can tell the Member was well persuaded or moved by my persuasion. To my right is Hon. Lesuuda Naisula.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for this opportunity to contribute to this important Motion. I also congratulate the Member for Laikipia County for bringing it before this House. I will also take into consideration your directive and be very brief, since most of my colleagues have contributed to this Motion. We all know that if you do not have cancer, then you are most likely affected by it via a family member, friend, colleague or somebody around you. It is also a disease that we know that not only leaves a lot of pain, but it also impoverishes. It leaves families very poor. They use all the resources that they have to make sure that they treat their family member. By the time they lose that family member, they have been left with almost nothing. That is why it is important as a country we realise that this is a pandemic that is with us and we must put in place measures to make sure that we cushion the people of Kenya from the adverse effects of this disease. I just want to talk about one issue: universal health coverage. Most of our constituents are either not aware of NHIF, or others are aware but they are not able to pay. Others are aware, they have part of the money, but cannot pay. As a Government, even as we focus on universal healthcare and universal health coverage, we should also start with those who are having long- term illnesses so that we can ensure we take off the burden from the families. The second thing is to ensure that our hospitals are not only equipped, but also... We know that most counties, through partnership with the national government, ensured that they got machines for screening and treatment, but we lack expertise. Doctors who can do chemotherapy and radiotherapy are so few. That is why hospitals like KNH are overwhelmed. It is important that the county governments and the national government ensure that we have specialists who can operate the equipment to ensure that we avoid a lot of challenges in terms of travelling all the way to referral hospitals, most importantly to KNH, to access treatment. Just to add something on the issue of treatment, it is important that we start talking to our people on prevention. It is so interesting that nowadays you may find cancer in a person whose lineage has never had cancer. It also does not choose. We have very young babies affected. It must be that it is caused by what we are eating, what we are exposed to and other environmental problems. So, we must put in some effort in terms of research to ensure that we know and we share the information we have with members of the public so that they can be helped on prevention. To conclude, so that I give time to my colleagues, the other issue is to see to it that we have hospices to relieve the pain of patients and to ensure that we give them enough care even towards their last days. We do hope that it will not just be about talk or declaring it a national The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
disaster rather we should ensure that we implement and put interventions in place. It is the only way we can deal with this menace. Thank you very much, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker.
Hon. Mose John, Member for Kitutu Masaba.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me a chance to also address this very important matter of national importance. Cancer has become a real problem in this country. I rise to support this Motion on the following grounds: Firstly, cancer has killed very many of our most critical persons. If you see the number of people dying on a daily basis, if you see the kind of harambee funds that Members of Parliament raise on a daily basis for cancer patients to be taken to India and these other developed democracies, it is very high. It is, therefore, important that as I support this very crucial Motion, we should be in a position as a country to use even the resources that we are using outside this country to establish cancer centres in every county. If I speak for Nyamira County where I come from, and even the Level 5 hospital that we have, you will be shocked that there are so many cancer patients dying there on a daily basis. Therefore, this Motion has come at the most critical time that as a country we need to put the resources that we have to it. We have enormous resources that are wasted on a daily basis. If these resources are given for the establishment of the cancer centers, as a country we would have done a lot for our people. Therefore, it is my prayer that all the resources and people who are concerned, particularly the Ministry of Health, have special resources allocated so that at the end of the day we can assist our people. The other day, I was raising funds for a cancer patient going to India and the amount of money that was required was about Kshs3 million. We did a lot to raise that money. The question is: How many of these cancer patients are languishing in the village and are not in a position to even attract the attention of Members of Parliament. Therefore, the establishment of cancer centers in our respective counties will help a lot to alleviate the suffering of our people. I support this Motion with a rider that we should all, as a country, address this endemic problem. Thank you, Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support
Before I get to my left, let us have Hon. Mugambi Gichuki.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I support this Motion. Cancer is a monster in this country. If we go by statistics, over 1,000 Kenyans are sliding into poverty because of cancer. Every time there is one case of cancer, it impoverishes the whole family and village. This Motion is timely because if we do not address it, even our goals of improving livelihoods of Kenyans will not be achieved. The biggest challenge is treatment. Even when cancer is detected early, our treatment process is killing more people. We do not have enough personnel to administer even the more common treatment of chemotherapy. Many patients are dying in the process and that is why those who are able have chosen to fly out of the country. We are losing a lot of money taking patients out of this country. Therefore, we need interventions to train our manpower. The other day I was out of this country for treatment. When you approach some countries such as India, they are very ready to partner with us and help with skills in some of these difficult areas. It is very important for our Government to go to Cuba to look for specialists. It is very painful when our very own medics oppose some of these interventions such as bringing specialists who can work with them to build capacity which we lack in this country. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Looking at the cost of cancer drugs anytime a patient is diagnosed with cancer, it is like a death sentence has been passed on them because treatment is prohibitive. We need guidelines on cancer drugs and government intervention. Some companies have seen a great opportunity to make money. They need to understand they are not making money, but killing and murdering our patients. The government needs to intervene so that our people can have hope and a future. We are sure that with proper interventions this monster can be wrestled. I beg to support.
Very well, our time is almost over. On my left, I was to give Hon. Kelvin Wanyonyi before Hon. Cherono. I have that impression that Hon. Wanyonyi can speak very briefly to this.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, maybe you are mistaken. I want to contribute to this because I have many cancer patients in my constituency. I want the mover of this Motion to alternate the words ‘urges the Government’ with ‘this House resolves’. We have many cancer cases, rather than urging the Government to assist, the mover should amend it to state this House resolves that the Government declares cancer a national disaster and establishes a fund.
We are in very critical times because cancer is one of the major killers. My constituents face financial difficulties and cannot access treatment. I have gone to the extent of lending them money because most of them are referred to India for treatment. The Government should set aside funds for this monster. Secondly, the Ministry of Health should create a civic education policy to create cancer awareness among Kenyans. For example, they should use interns, from universities and colleges and during their holidays they can go round the country educating Kenyans about cancer. Early detection is very important and cancer is a disaster which we need to do something about it.
Very well, Hon. Member. I think you have made your point. The prevailing decision of the House is that such a Motion should take a maximum of two hours and that is coming to an end. The mover has a maximum of five minutes. She has the discretion to choose whether to donate some minutes to a few Members.
Thank you, Hon. Speaker. I am torn on how to donate my minutes. I will give the Member for Kajiado North, the County Women Representative of Baringo and one Member from the other side a minute each. Then, I will remain with two minutes so that I get a nice bite of closing the Motion. We need to speak out the way Kenyans feel.
Give him one minute.
Thank you for donating to me one minute. I want to contribute to this very important Motion. Cancer is a real emerging issue which the Government should address so that we can alleviate our people from suffering. Cancer patients are dying a very painful death. We need to give the palliative care so that they can die honorably. There is the cost of transportation to India. Many people go to India to seek cancer treatment. It is happening. They can be treated. I think we should alleviate this suffering from them and as a country see how we can mitigate this. Lastly, it is because of the way Kenyans have been exposed to various issues. Therefore, we should vet them. Thank you.
Let us have the Member for Baringo. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker, for giving me this opportunity. I want to add my voice on the issue of cancer. I am so passionate about this Motion because last weekend I buried two people who succumbed to cancer. While doing so, we had four bodies lying at the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH), Eldoret. This Motion has come at the right time. Cancer is an expensive disease to manage. There is no known cure for cancer. Every now and then, cancer patients are taken to hospital where radiation is done.
The donated minute is up. It is a very short time. Next is Hon. Joyce.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I know that time has run out. I must congratulate the Mover of the Motion, Hon. Cate, for bringing this wonderful Motion. In Bomet, we have throat cancer which is caused by selenium soil. I request Hon. Cate that as we also support the Motion, let us also use the statistics that have been collected and urge the Government to provide patients with selenium diet supplements. There are issues of greenhouses and pesticides, which have also been…
Mover, you have only two minutes. I am afraid you may not donate them. You need to use them to reply.
Thank you, Hon. Temporary Deputy Speaker. I will speak very fast. Thank you everybody for participating in this Motion. I think the message is very clear. Kenyans are watching and they are looking upon us to help them. I borrow the words of one member who said we need to resolve this issue. If that has a financial or budget implication, I feel it is not a cost that is so high for us to pay as we save the lives of Kenyans. I think the message is clear. Kenyans are dying. We are a sick nation. If you are not infected with cancer, you are affected by cancer. It is upon us to establish a cancer fund. I must say I am so disappointed because when I looked at the Budget Policy Statement (BPS), I did not find an allocation of money which was set aside to fight cancer. It is very embarrassing because Kenyans are suffering. Secondly, I urge the county governments to set aside a fund that is going to fight cancer and deal with matters to do with screening and sensitisation. The national Government should deal with matters to do with doctors and oncologists. I must say to the President that the cost of training one oncologist stands at Kshs8 million. There are very few Kenyans who can afford that. We need more doctors. Before we talk of importing doctors from Cuba, we have local doctors who can be encouraged to go back to school so that they can take up the challenge. I must also say that I am very grateful to Hon. Cecily Mbarire, Dr. Kinyua who is a Kenyan doctor at Mole Hospital in California; Dr. Kibashio from Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH); Dr. Mirima from Aga Khan Hospital, as well as the entire membership of the Departmental Committee on Health, not forgetting all Kenyans for supporting me. I reiterate my commitment on this matter and remind Kenyans that I am their ambassador for cancer. I thank all the Members who have supported me. I believe they will continue supporting us so that we bring cancer to an end. There should be no more harambees. The NHIF card must protect Kenyans. I beg to reply. The electronic version of the Official Hansard Report is for information purposes only. Acertified version of this Report can be obtained from the Hansard Editor.
Hon. Members, we shall defer the putting of the Question on that Motion to another time.
Hon. Members, the time being 1.05 p.m., this House stands adjourned until Wednesday, 20th April 2018, at 2.30 p.m.
The House rose at 1.05 p.m.
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