Dr. Sheila Nankoberanyi PhD
WORLD CANCER DAY: #IAmAndIWill
Cancer is the scariest disease of our life time. It not only causes too much pain to victims despite their age and economic status, but it’s a guaranteed death sentence in our poor sentence of Uganda. Often this terminal road to perdition is compounded by other socio-economic drivers such as poverty, and poverty-related diseases. Breast cancer affecting the most vulnerable in our society, the women (irrespective of their age), is of great concern. As dedicated pan-Africanists dedicated to improving the livelihoods of the Girl child in Africa, we stand with the victims and advocate for increased support to change this expanding problem in our society. To understand the complexity of cancer on the poor in Uganda, I have used a case of Jessica, a Breast Cancer victim.
“At 16 years of age, Jessica was married off to a 40-year old brick layer, and they got three children together. At the age of 20, in the second trimester of the fourth child, she realized that her breasts had big lumps that were starting to hurt deeply, despite basic pain relief administration (Aspirin).”
Jessica endured the pain as it’s common for women to complain about sore breasts, more so during pregnancy. Since she could not afford transport to the city, which is 160 km from her home, Jessica couldn’t access the only referral hospital capable of dealing with such complex conditions. She endured through the pregnancy but unfortunately soon after birth, she could not breast feed due to the excessive pain. Thanks to the Girl Child in need program breast cancer campaigns in my home village, it became apparent to Jessica that her worst night mare had come to pass. Through a long bureaucratic process, she was later referred to the cancer institute where she was hospitalized for 1 year and she later had a Mastectomy at 21 years of age to relieve the pain. Unfortunately, her baby became severely malnourished and later succumbed to malaria and malnutrition related complications. Jessica has since become a community advocate for breast cancer screening and Girl Child Empowerment. Its such cases that motivate our reasons for existence as the Prince Wako Foundation particularly addressing the Girl Child unsaid needs. Nobody deserves to go through this form of trauma and suffering, we can do better in this era. Please join us in the fight, together with the many young girls and women in poor settings, against breast cancer and other types of preventable cancers worldwide.
#IAmAndIWill #IFIGHTWITHJESSICA #GIRLCHILDINNEED2019