Tea, Maize and Mursik Main Causes of Cancer in Kenya, Research


Cancer has recently become a leading killer disease in Kenya calling for the attention of researchers and health stakeholders.

According to a number of researches highlighted by a local TV on Sunday, the rising cases of cancer in the country have been linked to consumption of food, especially hot tea, maize contaminated with aflatoxin, vegetables grown in contaminated water systems and Mursik, traditional Fermented milk which is part and parcel of the Kalenjin culture.

Using the hashtag, #CupofCancer, a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) was highlighted which showed that drinking tea and other beverages at temperatures hotter than 65 Celsius probably causes cancer.

Another research conducted at Tenwek hospital in Bomet County further indicated that people living in Western Kenya, take the hottest tea in the world with temperatures exceeding 72 degrees Celsius which might be the cause of the high cases of esophageal cancer experienced in the area.

A data presented before the Health Committee by the Cancer National Institute this year proved that throat cancer is the country’s worst killer of cancer as out of 365 new throat cancer cases reported monthly, only two survive.

In the same study conducted at Tenwek Hospital, frequent drinking of mursik showed that it is a leadingĀ  cause of cancer of the oesophagus in the greater the Rift Valley and parts of northern Kenya.

The National Cancer Institute said that the Rift Valley, upper Eastern and Northeastern regions recorded the highest number of oesophageal cancer.

According to another study conducted among women at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret showed that consumption of aflatoxin in food increases the risk of cervical cancer.

The rate of aflatoxin-contaminated food, especially in maize and milk, has been on the increase in Kenya and so have been cases of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer, is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the country.


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