Mentally Cancer Free and Thriving

Mentally Cancer Free and Thriving

UWOCASO launches “Mentally Cancer Free and Thriving” project in Mende Subcounty Wakiso District.

It was an electrifying moment at UWOCASO as the Launch of the VOICE supported “Mentally Cancer Free and Thriving project. The project which is contributing to improving access to social services, health and education to boost the existing programs for rights holders (cancer patients/ survivors) to meet their multi-disciplinary care needs through provision of mental, emotional, social and economic skills in order to help them realise positive life during cancer care.  The program engages and educates men and young people, who are imperative in supporting women in dealing with mental health challenges during cancer treatment and survivorship.  Rights holders are supported in skilling with coping techniques that is; Training them in poultry project that will improve their nutritional, daily food needs, mental and physical well-being. The project is targeting to support 100 rightsholders working directly with Village Health Teams (VHTs) and three ( 3) public health facilities in Mende subcounty Wakiso district. The project is “Innovate and Learn” with community-based approaches to improving mental well- being of women fighting cancer and their families through cancer survivors, male champions and VHTs in creating awareness about cancer and making referral to public health facilities.

The launch started with one local inception meeting in the month of August which has been conducted with the participation of District Chief Administrative Officer, District Health Officer, Community Development Officer, Residence District Commissioners, Secretary health and political leaders.

n the 7th of September 2023, Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organization and Buwaya Hope Project held an official launch of “Mentally cancer free and thriving” project.  The launch was graced by district officials, subcounty leadership, NGOs, cultural leaders, religious leaders, health facility in-charges and Uganda Cancer Institute.

During the Launch, the Assistant DHO, Sis. Betty Nabuganda informed the audience that Cancer is a national burden and Wakiso is performing badly in the preventive measures of cervical cancer through the campaign of HPV vaccination of young girls. Mende subcounty specifically still alarming because parents have negative perception about the HPV vaccine, the turn up is still very low in communities. This calls for more joint efforts between government institutions and non-governmental organizations to overcome the challenges associated with cancer services. “UWOCASO has come on the right time where Wakiso especially Mende subcounty needs it more, because cancer needs urgent attention.” She mentioned. It was noted that, most of the participants have or ever had cancer patients or lost their loved ones because of cancer and a lot of myths and misconception associated with cancer still exist in communities among the literate and illiterate families.

For example, this meeting has been helpful for me, currently my father is suffering from cancer and he is undergoing treatment, now I can support him with the information I have gained today. A district leader noted.  It’s very sad that HPV also affects men, all along I thought it’s a women’s disease. A participant narrates. It was a thrilling time as UWOCASO and BUHOP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) together with Wakiso district which intends to understand individual roles, responsibilities and tasks aligned in the project. This will strengthen the organisational partnership and creates rapport with district leadership hence leading to operative implementation. it is worth noting that, through the office of Hon. Minister for Health Wakiso District Local Government, the district offered one radio talk-show program to UWOCASO on CBS FM monthly. This will support in creating awareness on a wider coverage of the country being cancer is a national issue.  The district and subcounty leadership were very appreciative for this project and pledged to give the technical support whenever there is  need because cancer is a national burden and sensitive issue. “We shall give you the necessary support because you are tackling a sensitive issue and your password to my office in cancer”, a CAO argued.

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