According to officials from UCI, in the last six months, they have screened only 10 women who were referred from several health centers. Previously, they would screen up to 100 women on a daily basis five days a week
According to doctors from the Uganda Cancer Institute, cancer patients who now test positive for the disease are given a minimum of 14 days to recuperate from COVID-19 before starting or resuming treatment. Such delays will likely lead to an increase in cancer related deaths
Dr. Jackson Orem, Senior Consultant Oncology and UCI Executive Director says the cancer prevention efforts, community sensitization and mobilization must be increased in Uganda to fight against cancer among children.
Balagadde who had for many years worked alone says the institute has been working to improve their human resource especially as they expect to have up to 2000 children reporting annually. Recently they increased nurses in her department from 15 to 23.
The machine, known as the true beam linear accelerator (Linac), is the first of its kind in Africa and has been acquired through a government of Uganda funding amounting to USD 4 million (14.7 billion Shillings). The equipment adds to two already existing Cobalt radiotherapy machines which have been serving up to 150 people each day.
UCI Executive Director Dr. Jackson Orem who received the delegation said this was the second time the ambassador was visiting having last visited two years ago to explore possibilities of Uganda using the country's advancements in cancer care.
She told URN in an interview that her focus at the global body will be highlighting key issues that are unique to Africa which are deterring many children from surviving from cancer. While in many western countries, survival from children cancer is to the highs of 80%, the World Health Organization has set an overall objective to improve survival from all cancers affecting children to 60% by 2030 but Balagadde says in some parts of Africa, survival goes to as low as 10%.
In an interview with URN, Dr. Joyce Balagadde kambugu who heads the childhood cancers department at the UCI said after the study which is currently recruiting participants ends around August next year, they will have a hint on why the country still has more than 50% of children who get cancer die yet the disease is highly curable among children elsewhere.
Dr Joyce Balagadde Kambugu, a consultant who heads the Pediatric Oncology Department told URN in an interview that they resolved to give transport refunds in addition to drugs, to enable patients to come back for reviews and other psychosocial needs, after realizing many people especially children were dying unnecessarily,
Orem says during the last four months, they have had to refer some suspected COVID cases for testing elsewhere. While all their referrals finally tested negative, he said cancer patients are at risk of getting fatally affected by COVID-19 and yet the doctors who work on them also risk being exposed especially when they have to conduct surgeries.
Dr. Jackson Orem, the UCI Executive Director told URN that the task force and Works and Transport Ministry availed them two buses plying the Northern and Eastern routes to take up to a hundred patients.
Jane Kalanzi, a resident of Makindye Division told Uganda Radio Network that she had planned to visit a health facility since Sunday after developing flu-like symptoms, chills and high temperatures as they have been publicized as some of the symptoms of COVID-19.
Dr Doreen Agasha Birungi, the clinical director of Hospice Africa Uganda told the meeting that they resolved to close morphine production together with a host of other services that Hospice Africa provides including providing homecare to people at the end of life stage. This was done, in respect of the social distancing principle.
Christine Namulindwa, a Public Relations Officer at the Institute says the idea of having Cancer homes was born out of that need since the institute can’t house all those due to the overwhelming number of patients that they receive.
According to the World Health Organization, there are over 100 types of HPV of which 14 are cancer-causing. Two HPV types; 16 and 18 cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers and pre-cancerous cervical lesions. HPV is spread to women sexually by male careers who are never affected by the virus themselves and
The Chairperson of Uganda Rotary Cancer Programme, Steven Mwanje says there is light at the end of the tunnel with over 2.5 billion shillings garnered to start off one crucial component of the project.