Janet Kanini-Ikua. She revealed she had stage four lung cancer on October 7. [Photo: Twitter]

On October 7, Janet Kanini Ikua broke news to the world that she had been diagnosed as having stage four lung cancer.

Despite the revelation being a tear-jerker, many people have commended the suave TV presenter and storyteller for her strength in trying times.

Ikua said she was diagnosed in September and it came as a surprise that the outcome was not expected. This was in India.

To quote her on the medical facilities, Ikua said that,

“Coming to an Indian hospital was an excellent decision… I was promptly admitted and prepared for this machine that brings many Kenyans to India – the PET MRI scanner.”

Her being able to access quality care at the ‘one-stop’ hospital shows that we are way behind in achieving good quality healthcare in Kenya where such is only available for the rich, unfortunately.

And before the news from Ikua sinks in, another TV presenter, K24’s Anjlee Gadhvi Noorani is another Kenyan who has unfortunately shared that she has liver cancer.


Anjlee Gadhvi Noorani. She is battling liver cancer. [Photo: Twitter]

In a move to raise funds to help her get a transplant, Kameme FM, one of Mediamax’s flagship vernacular stations managed to raise Sh8 million for the cause as one of the listeners shared:

In the first hour, Citizen TV’s Waihiga Mwaura posted a screenshot showing that the station had surpassed Sh4 million.

Despite both Ikua and Anjlee being well known personalities in Kenya, it shows the burden that cancer places on not just individuals but families and economies.

In a country where priorities seem to have been missed by miles, Ikua’s praise for the Indian hospital shows that Kenya has a lot of ground to cover.

From her post, Ikua said that the PET MRI scanner gives an “amazingly accurate picture” of the internal workings of the body, so that you scan the entire body at a go.


A patient getting an MRI scan. Ikua has praised services and equipment in the Indian hospital she is being treated in. [Photo: Twitter]

Sadly commenting on services back home,

“If I had stayed in Nairobi I was going to go in and out of CT scans, MRIs and ultrasounds around my body to discover what’s up, which would have meant a lot of money, time and uncertainty.”

This is an indictment of healthcare and a government that has so terribly failed its people. This is despite the fact that Kenyans are among the highest taxed globally but with the taxes going into a few pockets.

Kenya was at par with Malaysia 30 years ago but today, the Asian country is ahead in many aspects meaning its citizens can afford some of the best lifestyles in the world.

And on Twitter on Friday, #InvestInYourHealth was the topic of the day where Kenyans offered their support to the two media personalities.

Some gave advice on what they thought was the best way to take care of one’s health:

Among men, the 5 most common cancers are lung, prostate, colorectum, stomach, and liver cancer.#InvestInYourHealth @TulipHealthcare — Willis Raburu (@WillisRaburu) October 16, 2015

And the support messages continue both for Ikua and Anjlee:

But the big question remains as to who and when will corruption be addressed conclusively for such cases to be taken care of at home with loved ones around?

For those who may be travelling to India, Ikua says,

“If you’re planning to travel here don’t stress about accommodation. Hospitals negotiate special rates with hotels. In a 5 star hotel on bed and a huge breakfast with free Wi-Fi you can pay Sh4,000 per person per night including taxes. Yes. In a 5 star. Special rates are also negotiated for 1 to 4 star hotels and self-catering guesthouses, especially if you’re here for long.”

Will our politics be development–oriented for once so that people suffering can get the basic treatments at home without having to travel?

Ikua and Anjlee join a long list of Kenyans who have been forced to travel abroad seeking treatment. Just recently, it was Jadudi who had a successful operation and came back.

Read more on Jadudi here

Is the government listening to Kenyans’ cries or is it time to eat for those in power?