The worrying level of Cancer in Uganda may soon come down if the government executes its plan to build four new cancer centres in the country.
The Director of the Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in the Ministry of Health Dr. Gerald Mutungi says the government plans to borrow money from development partners in addition to tax payers’ money to build the four cancer centres. Mutungi says the total budget for the expansion project is US$50m (Approx. Ushs175bn). Mbarara and Arua will be prioritised in this programme while, Mbale and Gulu will follow suit.
“We can, I can. Get involved in cancer prevention and control, We expect this (move) to ease the burden of caring for cancer patients that is currently being shouldered by Mulago with increasing numbers of cancer patients by each passing day”. said Mutungi
He was speaking at a news conference to announce activities for this year’s cancer week as well as programmes for expanding treatment to other parts of the country incoming months.
As part of activities to commemorate February as a cancer awareness month, Dr. Orem says that the ministry plans to scale up sensitization about the disease by holding several events under the banner
This move is due since the center’s burden is extended by patients from other countries in the region including “Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritria, South Sudan and the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC)
The common cancers in Uganda include: cancer of the cervix which affects 48 per every 100,000 women Cancer of the prostate affects 45 persons for very 100,000 men, Kaposi’s sarcoma (skin cancer) affects 35 per 100,000. Cancer of the breast affecting 28 per 100,000 mainly women, Cancer of the throat affecting 25 per 100, 000, Liver cancer affecting 15 per 100,000 and cancer of the stomach affecting 12 per100, 000
According to figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) NCDs are responsible for 63% of deaths occurring in low and middle income countries including Uganda.