Dr. George Williams Mbogo PhD
WORLD CANCER DAY 2019
“Whoever you are, you have the power to reduce the impact of cancer for yourself, the people you love and for the world. It’s time to make a personal commitment”.
There is a Luganda saying that states that “ekuba omunaku tekya” loosely meaning the “the vicious cycle of problems of the poor.” We as change agents of our generation have the moral obligation to change this extremely sad and depressing reality in our homeland Africa. In the context of Uganda, 1.4 million people are living with HIV, over 50% of which are women. This is further complexed by pre-existing tropical diseases such as malaria, and maternal related complications among other socio-economic inequalities. This unacceptable trend has been the norm in our society for a long time and this time we MUST act with utmost urgency to change the status quo. To further complicate this already dare situation are cancers that are not only chronic in nature, but very costly and are 100% fatal. Cancers are a large group of diseases defined by the misbehavior of normal body cells to affect other body parts, without a known cure. The community perspective regarding cancers was historically summed as terminal diseases for the aged, especially those living in the first world countries. However, this trend has since changed, with latest statistics revealing that cancers claim more lives than the commonest infectious diseases. In 2018 alone, 9.6 million lives were lost (WHO) to cancers with majority of these deaths occurring in poor countries like Uganda, despite cancers being preventable. In Uganda, cancer prevention, detection and treatment strategies are a big challenge. The 2018 Kampala Cancer Registry shows that there were 32,617 new cancer cases, and 21,829 cancer deaths of which almost 40% were infection related. The commonest cancers in Uganda are disproportionately affecting women of all age groups with the major ones being breast and cervical cancers, with the latter being the most aggressive type. Therefore, increasing community awareness and sensitization is paramount. In response to the theme of world cancer day, as the women empowerment program in poor settings of Uganda and Africa through the “GIRL CHILD IN NEED” program, we stand with the victims of Breast Cancer and other cancers. We also advocate for more funding in prevention and screening of every individual despite their ethnicity, creed, political, religious and economic status to curtail the suffering and the overall burden to the society. Please adhere to all cancer screening programs as we match towards a cancer free generation.
#IAmAndIWill #WorldCancerDay2019 #GirlChildInNeed2019