Ugandans have been urged to stop waiting for the government to buy machines or fundraise to take cancer patients to India but instead mobilise and raise the money needed to procure the much needed cancer machines.
The call comes in the wake of a campaign by a local cancer charity aimed at raising money to buy three essential cancer treatment machines.
The fundraising crusade is being championed by Our Kampala Foundation, who shot to fame for preaching at FDC’s Monday prayers.
The money, according to promoters of Our Kampala Foundation, will help procure three cancer testing machines to be stationed at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago Hospital. The public-interest fundraising comes in the wake of the break-down of a decades old Radiology Machine at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
This triggered a national outcry that ended with Nairobi Hospital offering to airlift a few patients every month to Kenya for treatment.
Pastor Sandra Ngabo, the Managing Director of Our Kampala Foundation said that part of the money to be contributed by different corporate companies, individuals and entities will be used to construct a banker and train the required specialists.
Ngabo argued that Ugandans die of cancer because little can be done to save their lives when the disease is detected late. She is optimistic that through the Kampala Cancer Fundraising Campaign, management of the disease will be more efficient.
“In the past, you’ve seen us as a people, trying to get together and try to save lives of individuals, we did it in the case of former NTV anchor Rosemary Nankabirwa (now deceased), we did it for Carol (a Makerere University student with cancer) as an Individual.
But this time we are saying let us not focus on one person, once we procure these machines they will cover masses, they will save lives….you Know cancer is not beyond you, it can affect a newly born child to a very old person, cancer can affect anybody,” Ngabo said.
Ngabo further points out that because the number of cancer cases registered every year is likely to increase from 200,000 to 300,000 in the next three years, its urgent that machines are procured and handled over to Mulago Hospital by January next year.
Out of the 200,000 cancer cases registered every year, 60,000 are new cases and about 46,000 patients die of the disease every year. The mortality rate remains high while the survival rate only remains at 20 percent at the Uganda Cancer Institute.
“So we are fundraising to buy three particular machines. One is called the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine (MRI Scan) which will expedite cancer detection when it is still early.”
She added: “We also need an ultra Sound 4D machine, as well as a Mammography machine which handles breast cancer.” Ngabo pleaded: “So, beloved we want your support in this campaign so that we procure these much needed machines.”
In addition to procurement of the equipment, part of the total cost of US$3.5 million will go to installation, project administration and training of specialists.
She assured this newspaper that the campaign will be handled in a transparent manner with the help of the media and reputable auditing firm KMPG for proper accountability.