Ann Steyn was in Uganda for a two days volunteers training for breast cancer survivors and members of UWOCASO. It was a great opportunity for UWOCASO to be linked to Reach for Recovery International a program affiliated to International Union Against cancer (UICC). The training was meant to prepare women who have personally experienced breast cancer to offer practical and emotional support to patients undergoing breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, educate communities about the disease and to advocate for a cancer policy in the country. At the end of the meeting 25 breast cancer survivors were trained and fully equipped with the necessary skills to go out as living witnesses that the battle against breast cancer can be won!\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe meeting was opened by Dr. Anthony Gakwaya, senior consultant surgeon at Mulago Hospital and a physician advisor to UWOCASO. In his speech he showed his commitment to support advocates and volunteers in their struggles to improve the plight and quality of life of breast cancer patients in Uganda.\r\n
Dr. Jane Faulal a senior surgeon at Mulago Hospital clearly discussed breast cancer detection, diagnosis and treatment. She cautioned participant to always practice breast self examination because 70% of cases are diagnosed by patients themselves. She emphasized that breast self examination is the only convenient and affordable means by women given economic state Ugandans are in.
\r\nDr. Jackson Oryem, Director of Uganda cancer Institute identified the need to involve survivors and volunteers on the multi-disciplinary team of cancer care givers as a way of improving the quality of life and to make better decisions from the available treatment options. He also emphasized the government need to boost the country’s potential to diagnose and treat breast cancer.\r\n\r\nThe training was covered by the press so the public is aware of what the trainees can offer. The training was made possible by the support of Susan G. Komen for the cure, Uganda Women Health Initiative (UWHI) a Collaboration between University College London, Mulago Hospital, Makerere University and hospice Africa and Reach for Recovery International (RRI). Thanks to the organizing committee chaired by Speciosa Kabwegyere.