UCI: 500,000 People living with Cancer in Uganda Unknowingly

1454 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Dr. Noleb Mugisha Mugume, the head of Comprehensive Community Cancer Program at the Uganda Cancer Institute, says more than 100 people turn up for free cancer screening each Friday while 32 people test at the private clinic each Wednesday from only 2 in 2009 when they started

Over 500,000 Ugandans are living with different kinds of cancers unknowingly, according to Uganda Cancer Institute-UCI. Experts at the UCI blame this on the inability of medical personnel throughout the country to diagnose the different kinds of cancer and the reluctance of people to go for screening.

 
UCI registers 4,500 new cancer cases, which is only four per cent of the estimated number of case patients. Dr. Jackson Orem, the Executive Director UCI, says statistics show that half a million Ugandans are not accessing services due to ignorance of the disease.
 
 
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According to Orem, the situation is complicated by the fact that by the time many people seek treatment, the disease is in advanced stages.
 

Dr. Noleb Mugisha Mugume, the head of Comprehensive Community Cancer Program at the Uganda Cancer Institute, says more than 100 people turn up for free cancer screening each Friday while 32 people test at the private clinic each Wednesday from only 2 in 2009 when they started.

According to Mugume, many people wait for pain before they go to hospital for treatment.
 
 


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Paul Ebusu, the Executive Director Uganda Cancer Society, says Uganda currently they rely on the Kampala registry to plan due to lack of representative national data, which affects their interventions.
 
Cancer is a chronic disease in which body cells grow abnormally (proliferate) and spread to other body parts. The common cancers in Uganda are Cervical Cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast Cancer, Kaposis sarcoma, Burkitt's lymphoma, lung cancer, skin cancer, Cancer of the bone, cancer of the eye, Cancer of the colon, and cancer of the blood.
 

 

About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.