Nairobi News


How Kenyans were forewarned about cancer threat nine years ago

By Amina Wako August 5th, 2019 1 min read

The number of cancer cases have been on the rise in Kenya with the country recording 47,887 new cases of all types of cancer and 32,987 deaths from all types of cancer combined.

This is according to the National Cancer Institute.

Interestingly, nine years ago then Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Managing Director, the late Sammy Kioko Mangéli, warned Kenyans of a possible rising cancer cases within the next 10 to 15 years as a result of consumption of maize flour with high levels of aflatoxin.

“I’m more than 100 per cent sure it (aflatoxin) affects people and that within the next 10 to 15 years we will have serious cases of cancer based on this maize,” Mangéli said back then.


Even more worrying then was Mangéli’s admission that they had been compelled to bend to political pressure and allow the consumption of contaminated maize.

According to a research conducted in Makueni and Nandi counties in 2017 by Food Quality and Safety, 79% and 83% of children under the age of five years tested positive to aflatoxin from consumption of maize in form of maize flour.

Aflatoxin poisoning causes acute and chronic health and production effects in human beings and animals respectively.