The death of Dr Joyce Laboso brings into focus the discussion of cancer as a national disaster

Dr. Joyce Laboso who was the Governor of Bomet County passed away yesterday following a long illness with stomach cancer. Dr Joyce Laboso was among the few women governors that includes Anne Waiguru of Kirinyaga and Charity Ngilu of Kitui County.  It’s hardly a week since we lost Kenneth Okoth who was Member of Parliament, Kibra Constituency. Kenneth Okoth also passed on due to cancer. Dr Joyce Cherono Laboso passed away yesterday in the Nairobi hospital at the age of 59.

Joyce Laboso had been battling cancer for some time now flying for treatments to India and United Kingdom. May this year was when her illness was made public after the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and the Commissioner to United Kingdom Manoah Esipisu paid her a visit in London. Two weeks ago she jetted back into the country but she distanced herself from the public. She then later on made a statement that she was recuperating well and there should be no concerns.

This is a third cancer series death to prominent leaders in the country. The first one to kick the bucket was Bob Collymore former CEO of Safaricom who suffered from Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Weeks after his body was cremated in Kariokor, Ken Okoth who was the MP for Kibra passed away on Friday 26th of August. The death of Ken Okoth brought into limelight the discussion around euthanasia (mercy killing) as he had requested the doctors to turn off the life support machine. Rumours have it that Bob Collymore also requested to be killed mercifully following insistence by his close friends that they should get him a proper Doctor in Australia. Also, it is not clear how Dr Joyce Laboso died as shortly before her death word went around that she had been given permanent bed rest but she was responding well to treatment.

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Dr. Joyce Laboso was the second governor of Bomet taking over from Isaac Ruto in 2017. Her body is laying at the Lee Funeral Home in Nairobi just a few meters from Nairobi Hospital. Rest in peace Dr. Joyce Laboso.

See also: Eulogizing Robert Collymore

Adrian Opiyo

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