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Kibra MP Okoth keeps up the fight against cancer

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By ELIZABETH MERAB
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A month after Kibra Member of Parliament Kenneth Okoth revealed that he has cancer, he has tried to keep Kenyans abreast of his condition.

Mr Okoth revealed that he was diagnosed with advanced colorectal cancer, adding that the disease cannot be cured but only managed.

On Tuesday, the 41-year-old legislator, responding to a tweet by a person who asked how he was doing, readily gave an update.

“Napambana na hali yangu kabisa (I am dealing with my condition). Chemo drugs are brutal on the skin and immunity system,” he said.

Chemotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses one or more drugs as part of a standardised regimen. It may be given to cure the disease, to prolong life or to reduce symptoms.

“I was diagnosed with stage four colorectal cancer, with metastases to the liver,” he told a local daily.

For over a year, he said, he had symptoms of ulcers, and sometimes of bacterial infections, for which he was treated. At some point, he was even given medication to manage stress.

By the time his doctors ordered advanced scans, the disease had already reached stage four.

Even as cancer treatment improves and survival rates go up, so, too, does the number of people afflicted by the deadly disease.

New data suggest that the global burden has risen to 18.1 million cases, which are predicted to reach 29.5 million by 2040.

Last year, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recorded 9.6 million cancer deaths.

According to WHO’s latest global data, one in five men and one in six women develop cancer during their lifetime, and one in eight men and one in 11 women die from the disease.

The cancer burden is increasing, a trend WHO attributes to population growth, ageing, late detection and screening.

While the international agency notes that lung and female breast cancers are the leading types worldwide, cancer experts in Kenya predict a shift in pattern as cancers of the food pipe and stomach are increasingly ravaging young people and quickly becoming top killers.

In its Globocan report that analyses new cases and deaths among men and women, the IARC notes that oesophagus cancer kills 4,354 Kenyans every year, overtaking cervical, breast, stomach and prostate cancers.

Colorectal cancer symptoms depend on the size and location of the condition. Some common symptoms include changes in bowel habits, changes in stool consistency, blood in the stool and abdominal discomfort.

“These symptoms, however, differ depending on whether the cancer is detected in the patient’s right or left side of the colon,” explains Dr Andrew Odhiambo, an oncologist at Kenyatta National Hospital and Nairobi Radiotherapy and Cancer Centre.

For instance, he says, if the cancer is on the left side of the colon, patients are likely to spot blood in their stool. This is because the left side of the colon is closer to the rectum than the right side.

“Patients who have the cancer on the right side will often suffer from fatigue, weight loss and anaemia. This is because they are silently losing blood, which is not spotted in their stool since the right side of the colon is far from the rectum,” Dr Odhiambo said.

Late diagnosis is a problem for many cancer patients.

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Time to stop politicians in churches-Bishop : The Standard

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Kakamega Diocese Catholic Bishop Joseph Obanyi Sagwe leads his Kakamega St. Joseph Cathedral Catholic faithful on procession while carrying Palm leaves at Kakamega town to their way to Kakamega Catholic Cathedral to mark Palm Sunday. Picture taken on April 14, 2019. [File, Standard]

Catholic bishop Joseph Obanyi has cautioned fellow church leaders to help stop politicians from carrying on their activities in churches.

Speaking during the Easter Celebrations in Kakamega, Obanyi said politicians will always come in the guise of supporting the word of God and when given a chance they turn it into political rallies.
“They use the platform to hit at each other what amount to abusing holy temple. This should be stopped for the purposes of Christ,” he said.
He also asked politicians to realize the need to lead this country in the right direction saying all churches must be free of division created by the presence of politics.

SEE ALSO :Clerics demand transfer of officers

He asked them to be a better example in the society to save the current generation from following the same dirty ways of living.
Obanyi said as church leaders they will not allow such political activities to continue in their churches just because of love for money.
He said politicians had turned to churches after realizing that most churches require support and therefore vulnerable for anything.
Obanyi also faulted those hell-bent on fronting a bill which is yet to be tabled in parliament seeking to check on errant churches in the country.
“That bill may not give a lasting solution but what must be done is to mark those churches sprouting up every day with bad intentions for regulation.
He also asked the government to weed out fake men in clothes whom he said have been enriching themselves from unsuspecting flock.

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Flying bell and tobacco trees: Where Easter is celebrated differently : The Standard

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The first real sense of festivity since Christmas’ merriment and New Year jubilations is finally here.
A hybrid mixture of itching anticipation and joy unspeakable dangles in the warm air enveloping households as yet another tour upcountry awaits for family members; an opportunity dissevered by distance to reunite in fond embrace.
In other quarters, it promises to be a prolonged weekend, of days and nights out boozing, painting the town red, as though Earth’s feet stand at the edge of the end of time.

SEE ALSO :Go classic with daffodils

To some churchgoers, it shall be a pure Christian affair; that which no fleshly gratifications should defile.
Round-the-clock devotions, revamping children’s minds with religious dogmas, and a communion with the underprivileged; reasonably condenses these faithful’s four days into a nutshell.
For all the aforementioned sets of celebrants, it is not uncustomary to mark the events with chicken, goat or cattle bloodshed as that makes the fete all the more memorable.
These are the variant scenes of Easter observance as played on the Kenyan stage.
However, the inquisitive among us may well ask about what goes on beyond our homeland, beyond the mountains, beyond the seas.

SEE ALSO :La Marina Seafood Restaurant to spice up Easter with mouth-watering dishes

Flying bells
Just across the Mediterranean in France; while the rest of the Christian nations repose; to the French worker, Good Friday remains an ordinary working day.
However, ordinary stops right there! Starting Good Friday, all through to Easter Sunday morning, church bells make no sound.
Legend going back to the twelfth century, has it that church bells in all villages and towns across France; in bearing all the grief from mourning Christ’s crucifixion, develop wings and set out on a pilgrimage to the Vatican in Rome, to collect the Pope’s blessings.
Come early Easter Sunday morning, the church bells fly back from their respite: just in time for celebration of the resurrection, bringing with them chocolate and Easter eggs for obedient children, and hiding the goodies in the house and garden for them to find upon waking.

SEE ALSO :Coastal mood ahead of Easter Holiday

The first bong is welcomed with bear hugs and kisses among the congregants; who drown the bell’s deep, reverberating sound with uproarious shouts of: “He is risen! He is risen!”  to signify Jesus’ tremendous victory over death.
Burning of Judas
Heading to Brazil, South America: a life-size effigy of Apostle Judas Iscariot, handcrafted from straw or papier-mâché, and stuffed with fireworks; is hanged at the gallows where explosion by the fireworks from within takes place.
Instances of flogging and burning of effigies also do occur; but traditionally, effigies have been hanged on Good Friday, and then burnt on Easter Sunday night.
Although anthropologists have branded these events a scapegoating ritual; to the cheerful spectators, this symbolic punishment of Judas’ betrayal of Christ for monetary reward is believed to exorcise corruption, death, evil spirits; and cleanse their souls from all traits Judas.

SEE ALSO :How Easter got its name and other facts about the holiday

Tobacco tree
In the Oceanian islands of Papua New Guinea, trees outside houses of worship are decorated with sticks of tobacco and hanging packets of cigarettes.
Inside churches, a small tree is set up at the front and the same is done. If unable to have a tree, several branches bound together could still serve.
At the end of the service, the smokes are handed out to the congregants and the atmosphere literally lights up.
People then split off into groups, for a feast of leftovers from the Friday festivities, in their family homes.
Good Friday kites
Once upon a time, in the mysterious land of Bermuda, a teacher tried explaining to his Sunday school students how Jesus elevated himself to Heaven by self-power. They did not believe him.
So he constructed a cross kite and adorned it with the image of Jesus; then led his charges to a hilltop, set the kite flying, and cut the string as the disciples watched it sail upwards, into the heavens.
Since then, colourful, multi-sided kites made of strings, sticks and tissue paper; have dotted the skies all over Horseshoe Bay Beach on Good Fridays.
Self-crucifixion
Far Easter, to the province of Pampanga, Philippines, tourists flock to witness the uncommon reenactment of Jesus’ torture as depicted in the final hours of the Passion of Christ. There, the Good Friday is the most solemn day of the year.
Penitents lash their backs with whips made of bamboo or paddles with pieces of broken glass to draw blood.
Their faces are covered with white cotton hoods, stained with blood dripping from the crowns of thorns pressed upon their brows.
They drag heavy crosses and crawl on bloodied hands and knees: a recreation of the Stations of the Cross; as men clad in Roman centurion attires, wait to hammer real nails through their palms and feet, and into the wooden cross, to complete the rite.
These voluntary participations in the sufferings of Christ, are believed to cleanse the devotees’ souls of worldly sins, and are a fundamental part of a vow to engage in certain devotions in search of divine intervention.
 It may also be an expression of thanksgiving for granted prayers and miracles experienced in their lives.

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At last, rains in Nairobi… – Nairobi News

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The heavens finally opened up in Nairobi on Saturday night and the city for the first time in 2019 experienced wet conditions.

In a welcome break from the continuous sweltering heat and dusty streets, Nairobi received a drench from above catching many people unprepared.

Hawkers who were selling their wares in the streets were caught unawares as the rain pounded the busy streets. Pedestrians and motorists were also in the mix -but no one seemed to care.

People were seen walking in the rain oblivious of the fact that they could get soaked.

Two hours before the rains started, the Kenya Meteorological Department had announced that it would rain in Nairobi and other regions.

“Showers and Thunderstorms expected on Sunday especially afternoon over Western Kenya, Southern and Central Rift Valley and Central Highlands including Nairobi. Moderate to heavy Rainfall expected over the same areas from Monday and throughout next week,” it said in a tweet.

BUSY

City residents who spoke to Nairobi News said that they did not expect it to rain.

“I did not expect it to rain and as I was busy going on with my business, the rains came down and was forced to seek shelter elsewhere,” said John Kimani, a hawker.

Ms Mary Auma said that she had not expected it to rain and was shocked when the rains started.

“I did not know that it would rain and had not even dressed warmly, I have to stay until the rains stop,” she said.

Last week, the meteorological department said that there will be no rains this season through the acting Deputy Director of Kenya Meteorological Department Bernard Chanzu.

Mr Chanzu even asked Kenyans to brace themselves for scarcity of water resources for drinking, sanitation and industrial use as well as for power generation.

Nairobians were relieved at the sight of rains.





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