Dr. Joyce Balagadde Kambugu, the head of the pediatric Unit told URN that as the children return after missing treatment for a long time, health workers have had to start reviews afresh and some treatment afresh since they are unaware of the effects the withdrawal has had on the patients.
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 call by experts at the Uganda Cancer Institute follows a report indicating that more children are increasingly suffering from cancer across the world than previously thought. The commonest of these are Burkitt Lymphoma, a cancer that affects the jaw followed by Kaposi sarcoma, a cancer that develops from the blood vessels and commonly associated with HIV.
Some 215,000 cancers are diagnosed every year in under 15-year-olds, and another 85,000 in 15 to 19-year-olds, according to data released by the agency, on the occasion to mark International Childhood Cancer Day on February 15. The day is used to raise awareness and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, survivors and their families.