The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga called for more breast cancer awareness and Advocacy in order to increase early detection and improve survival rates.
The Speaker was addressing a dissemination workshop organized by Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organisation (UWOCASO) following their research study entitled:- “ Assessment of Clinical and Psychological needs of Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients, challenges and gaps in meeting their needs in Uganda”
The workshop was held on April 20th, 2017 at Hotel Africana.
Kadaga said “We do not do advocacy, conduct check-ups and lack the proper equipments in our health centres. People need to know how to deal with the disease and where to get the necessary treatment.”
She applauded UWOCASO for their efforts in creating awareness and supporting metastatic breast cancer and other patients but urged the Ministry of Health to take charge and lead national campaigns against non communicable diseases and cancer in particular.
She added that Parliament enacted a law that granted Uganda Cancer Institute Autonomy and the Anti- Tobacco bill among others. “I invite UWOCASO and Uganda Cancer Society to partner with Government to address the gaps that exist in the fight against cancer in Uganda. She added that Government is supportive of the HPV vaccine for young girls and through her office other cancer control efforts will be supported
She pledged her full support to UWOCASO to make the survivors’ voices heard at the floor of Parliament and encouraged UWOCASO leadership and partners to continuously engage and update her on the cancer advocacy efforts. She added that the parliament is always available and willing to support this noble cause.
The workshop was attended by among others Commissioners from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Bank of Uganda, Country Director PATH, National Medical Stores, surgeons from Mulago National referral hospital, consultants from Uganda Cancer Institute, Director of Kampala Cancer Registry, Representatives from the Italian corporation and American Cancer Society, Uganda Alliance of patient organization and Uganda Cancer Society members, Uganda Non communicable Disease Alliance, and representatives of the major private not for profit hospitals.
In attendance was Grace Irura Sales Manager at Pfizer for East Africa. She congratulated UWOCASO for the great achievements in the Seeding Progress and Resources for cancer community (SPARC) project. She was happy to note that UICC’s first initiative to support projects working towards addressing the unmet needs of Metastatic breast cancer patients globally was progressing well. “We are happy that UWOCASO benefited from SPARC grants and made good progress with it.” She informed members that UWOCASO was among the twenty organizations from eighteen countries whose proposals were accepted and awarded. “Thank you Gertrude and your team” she concluded.
The research identified the existing gaps and challenges in meeting the needs of Metastatic breast cancer patients. The workshop was concluded with a panel of experts who discussed the findings together with all the participants came up with the roadmap for intervention for metastatic breast cancer and suggestions to address the gaps in policy and service delivery.
This work was supported by UICC SPARC MBC challenge Grant