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Apr 2017

The Speaker of Parliament of Uganda calls for Intensive Cancer Advocacy

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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

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Feb 2017


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During a survivor, patient and family meeting that was held on December 3rd 2016 at UWOCASO offices. Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) patients were encouraged to join support groups in order to learn copying techniques and reduce their risk of emotional stress.
\r\nThis was emphasized by Ms. Leah Kasule and Elizabeth Kazibwe survivors who were the guest speakers of the day. Elizabeth encouraged members’ to take care for themselves , take enough rest also love and reward themselves whenever they feel better, She urged patients to communicate their needs and concerns to their care takers in order to get maximum social support. Leah emphasized the importance of participating in support groups for peer support and learns from their peers how to solve challenges that come as a result of living with metastatic disease.
\r\nSurvivors and patients were advised to learn and adopt the following copying techniques;
\r\n•    Live day at a time.
\r\n•    Communicate their needs and concerns to their needs and concerns to their care takers.
\r\n•    Relax regularly.
\r\n•    Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables but continue eating other foods that build their bodies and give energy.
\r\n•    Pray and have time to meditate.
\r\n•    Understand their disease and be aware of the available supportive services and resources in their locality.
\r\n•    Focus on positive issues
\r\n•    List their questions regarding their health care before visiting their health care providers.
\r\n•    Understand their treatment, the’’ dos and don’ts’’.
\r\nThis meeting doubled as a patient’s Xmas party, participants prayed, danced and shared a meal together. It was an interactive meeting including group therapy and peer to peer counseling.
\r\nThe meeting was attended by 69members including Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) patients and their families, survivors and well-wishers. Patients were invited to show case and sell out their crafts like mats, handbags, jewelries and others to their peers and participants. The sale of items is a motivation to patients and survivors who are struggling with medical and food bills.
\r\nThrough these meetings there is increased connectivity between patients, survivors and health care providers.
\r\nThis work has been supported by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) challenges grant.


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Feb 2017


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UWOCASO and UCIREC after the Assessment process.

UCIREC Team and UWOCASO Staff after a monitory visit to assess the site operations and implementation at UWOCASO Offices.

\r\n\r\nOn  August 9th 2016 a team lead by Uganda Cancer Institute Research and Ethic Committee(UCIREC ) Chairperson Dr. David Kyaddondo conducted a monitory visit to UWOCASO to assess the site operations and implementation process for the study ‘’Assessment of Clinical and Psychological Needs of Metastatic Breast Cancer ( MBC) patients , challenges and gaps in meeting their needs in Uganda’’.\r\nDuring the visit, Gertrude co-investigator made a presentation about site operations after which the team reviewed different documents which included; protocol submission and Institutional Review Board (IRB) approvals, training records, Standard Operation Procedures(SOP), Draft Reports/ Abstract, informed consent forms and data collection tools. In addition the team accessed and checked the database in relation to the approved data abstraction tools.\r\nAfter verification of documentation, the team applauded UWOCASO for the co-operation of staff and how well the site had transformed into a research site in short period. They were impressed about confidentiality about project documents data and maintaining the Ethical standards of research.\r\nAt the end of the monitoring visit UCIREC team commended UWOCASO’s work in improving the lives of Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) and other patients in Uganda. Ms. Maria Musisi handed over the updated National guidelines for research, research registration and clearance policy to the investigators 2016. The Team recommended a supplementary training to be delivered by UCIREC to empower UWOCASO research team and sighted out a few challenges that the team had faced during the implementation process.\r\nThis work has been supported by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) challenges grant.

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