Monday, 10 November 2014

WHAT NEXT AFTER CANCER MONTH

It is so amazing how each year various organizations and media houses and the country come out in full support to embrace cancer during the cancer month, but what next after the month of October? Do these campaigns stop or are we simply forced to hold our horses until October 2015 for new campaigns, education and public awareness on cancer?

Last week I had the pleasure to sit and talk to the principle research scientist from KEMRI Dr. Peter Odada Osumba where I got to learn that there are over 100 types of cancer in and across the world with a 50% life time risk of developing cancer

The less than one hour discussion I had with daktari made me realize that there is a big disconnect between the government and various medical practitioners in the country as well as the local wanainchi who clearly are in the dark about cancer, the various types, courses, symptoms nor preventive measures.

Cancer is the next big thing after Ebola as it courses more deaths than Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Am not trying to freak out anyone nor do I have the time to waste in spreading propaganda, but truth is over 20,000 people die daily of cancer related complication but still no one is keen to address them. There is a new type of cancer rocking called Burkitt lymphoma, also known as “kissing cancer” that was first reported by NTV’s Ouko Okusa on September 27th in Homa-bay.

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It is so funny how we every tenth month of the year we claim to come out to confront cancer in the country, but what is more funny is that despite the country importing cancer drugs at a cheaper price, suppliers add their profit margins and decide to sell the drugs at a double price that is, way beyond the reach of low income earners or should I say the common wanainchi as the likes of Senators, like Anyang Nyongo run off to other cheaper countries for their cancer medication. So what exactly are we fighting with our hospitals this expensive? and what kind of awareness are we creating with expensive billboards across the roads? Why go to the extra mile of using cancer as a scapegoat to raise money for the rich kid-guys in the block only for them to sick medication in India, Dubai or South Africa. What about that mama in the village who’s not able to raise Ksh. 8M to seek the same cheap treatment in the said countries or are they just another statistic that these rich folks opt to use to get the treatment they need?

Early this year, a middle age man was arrested and is currently spending some time at the Kisumu’s Kodiaga prison for neglecting one of his children suffering from Burkitt Lymphoma because he adamantly believed it was a curse imposed on him by his step mother. With another rejecting an already treated child because he too believed it as a curse. This are just but some of the few incidences that I have come across.

I mean, whose responsibility is it to ensure that, that mama mboga, the young village children or the boda boda guy at the village market is well equipped with the necessary knowledge and information about cancer? Did you even know that that according to recent studies multivitamins increase the risk of cancer and heart diseases with more skin cancer cases being due to indoor tanning than lung cancer is due to smoking? And buying that already cut Sukuma wiki “kwa jwala” because we’re too lazy to do the chopping ourselves also increases the chance of cancer.


Let’s then wake up and open our eyes to the harm our laxity in cancer awareness is having on our society and bring back the national public sensitization program to reach out to every individual across the country.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

WITH A NEW MONTH, COMES A NEW YOU

There is always a sole ease that comes about in the name of a new month that is often overlooked. Trust me, it isn’t resolutions, so let’s just put that aside for now. Resolutions are for that one man who understands not the self-disgust and disappointments of breaking each and every one of them possibly after celebrating Valentine’s Day or wedding anniversary or better yet a birthday. You and I both know the essence of resolutions is as good as eroded with the mere mention of it. But one thing you need to understand about a new month is heavily bounded in the starting point we each have: what we did bypassed the previous month, is as good as hell our starting point this November.

One thing I see myself not doing is telling you how to live your life, coz heaven for once will never wait a night or two till you realize you need to stop existing and start living, but as an old monk once quipped, we need to strive to be a better version of our previous selves. And that’s the reason a new month guide is a plus to anyone who cares to get one. Build yourself up a new with your previous self in mind, ranging from the boardroom to the bedroom, to you and nutrition, your income and image.

It doesn’t count whether or not you’ve rubbed shoulders with your boss, friends and family, but one thing for sure, standing out in today’s crowded and competitive market place is essential. It’s so funning how we constantly compete for cheap attention while the only thing that can make you and I stand out are same things our competitors find impossible to duplicate: your personality.

Trust me, Your personal brand is the influence and attention you command in the image you portray, how you look and present yourself, how you talk and relate to those around you. Just like the ingredients of the vast food, make-up and drinks you take, are what makes you unique and valuable. They are what you want people to think of you. And just like the best products in our market, all of us should develop a personal brand to engage our target audience and build brand loyalty.

Time to become the Director of our image and life; time to create a personal brand that radiates influence, confidence, credibility and persuasive power, forget what haters and lovers think of your and start directing their thoughts of you. Communicate this new “YOU” brand in how you write, email, through your business etiquette, networking savvy, public speaking and interviewing skills.

Just as “yours truly” best brands are market consistent, so should your personal brand. Be consistent in the way you carry yourself at all times, from you language to your behavior, to the way you eat. Trust me; you can’t possibly kid yourself that you can have the best etiquette and image at work between eight and five only to loosen your tongue in a cheap pub in the evening. Remember, your brand is always on show even when you think you are not being watched.

Opportunities knock but only once, and so is November 2014. So literary package yourself from the clothes you wear as they visually and silently influence your audience, use the psychology of color to enhance what you say and wear clothes that will greatly flatter your body size.

It is always prudent to be clear and understand what exactly you are sacrificing for, for how long and if it is worthwhile. Fully calculate what it will cost to achieve the goal and choose support instead of sacrifice. Even as we drive into the new month with a lot of motivation, no plan, and a little understanding of what we need to put in place to make our goals a complete success.

That is why, for this month, I urge you to let go yourself and re-live your life within your dreams and goals with no regret or resolution, just you and yourself, have fun and make the most out of it for there will never be another November 2014.

Monday, 3 November 2014

KCA CONDEMNS THREATS AND SUBJECTIVE CONFINEMENT OF JOURNALIST


The Kenya Correspondents Association (KCA) has strongly condemned the persistent threats and the recent arbitrary arrest and confinement of the Star Newspaper journalist, Justus Ochieng’, based in Kisumu City. 
According to the KCA Chairman William Oloo Janak, the threats and recent arrest of the journalist have presented a grave threat to the press freedom and safety of journalist’s security in Kisumu and the entire country.
Speaking through a press release to media houses earlier today, Mr. Janak said that KCA and Kenyan journalists will not sit and watch as security officers threaten and intimidate members of the media in an attempt to silence and stop them from exposing the ills security officers commit against citizens.  
The media association has demanded that immediate action be taken against the police officers involved in this case including urgent investigations into the activities they seek to cover up adding that they will not relent in demanding for the persecution of the officers.
Janak also noted that the Kisumu based journalists has faced increasing threats since September, for writing a series of stories, which have exposed a clique of rogue police officers who have been accused of involvement in robberies of members of the public who withdraw money from local banks.
Janak however called on the Kisumu county Police and National Police Service Commission leadership to state whether or not they condoned the incident and other cases of increasing threats to journalists in the region and across the country adding that the journalist fraternity was keenly watching this trend with a view of collectively defining how to relate with the security organs.