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Nov 2010

Advocates in Action

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EARLY DETECTION AND REGULAR CHECK-UPS HOLD\r\n\r\nKampala October 30th, 2010, Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organisation (UWOCASO) joined    the rest of the world to mark October international breast cancer awareness month.  UWOCASO in partnership with Uganda’s Ministry of Health, Uganda Cancer Institute, WBS Television and WAVA  Water, N.C Beverages and Blue Cube  Ltd organized a 3rd Annual Breast cancer awareness charity walk.\r\n\r\nParticipants who turned up for the event matched in unity against breast cancer from Parliament of Uganda, through Kampala streets to Kitante Primary Schools for speeches. Breast cancer survivors, advocates, supporters from all parts of the country convened at Parliament of Uganda to show their support to breast cancer awareness.\r\n\r\nIn his speech which was read by Hon. Pherry  Kabanda Member of Parliament of Uganda , the chief walker (The Prime Minister of the republic of Uganda, Prof. Apollo Nsibambi)  noted that globally cancer kills more people that HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria put together. More than 75% of the new cancer cases and cancer deaths will be in the developing countries especially sub-Sahara Africa. More than 70% of cancer in developing countries is diagnosed too late for cure. In short cancer in developing countries is a looming crisis but which remains a silent crisis.\r\nIn Uganda the increase in cancer cases is attributed to:- changing life styles, viral infections and environmental changes. This is compounded by poor access to health services and low levels of awareness about cancer. “We are aware that only 4% of cancer diagnosed currently present for treatment at the Uganda Cancer Institute, which implies 96% die without the needed medical care” he said.\r\n“As Government of Uganda we want to congulatulate UWOCASO for the recommendable job of raising awareness about cancer to the general population” He reminded participants of  Uganda’s approach to HIV/AIDS whereby raising public awareness paid dividends in reducing the rates of infection.\r\n\r\nHe added that organizing such a charity walk and other activities to raise awareness UWOCASO is assisting government and stakeholders in health with a critical step in the fight against cancer, specifically breast and cervical cancer.\r\nHe mentioned that Government is already in the process of granting full autonomy to the Uganda Cancer Institute so that UWOCASO’S request for researched data to back your lobbying and advocacy activities is readily available. He added that government will continue to support other cancer control related measures such as equipping regional referral hospitals so that these can handle cancer patients from these regions.\r\nHe urged participants to make it a responsibility to share and spread the theme of this Charity Walk namely: “Early Detection and Regular Check-ups Hold the Key”.\r\n\r\nDr. Isaac Ezati, Director of Planning and Development in the Ministry of Health informed participants that the Ministry recognizes UWOCASO’S efforts to increase awareness about breast and cervical cancers in Uganda. He saluted the organization for educating the public the importance of early diagnosis and treatment by always sharing survivors’ experiences with the public. He demonstrated steps of Breast Self Examination (BSE) to participants and urged both men and women to always check their breasts and always to be cautious of any abnormalities. He pledged on behalf of the Ministry of Health to support UWOCASO’s activities and programs.\r\n\r\nActivities of the day included breast and cervical cancer educational sessions at different partners’ exhibition stalls, networking and distribution of IEC materials. Kitante Primary school pupils entertained participants with cancer powerful messages through songs and poems.\r\nWe thank our sponsors, partners and collaborators who made it possible for UWOCASO to increase awareness and support world cancer declaration.  About World Cancer Declaration visit www.uicc.org

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