Minister Sarah Opendi

Government will set up cancer treatment centres in Arua and Mbale referral hospitals for treatment of various types of the catastrophic disease in the country.

According to the Minister of State for Health Sarah Opendi, the move is in line with the World Health Organization recommendation to adopt a planned response to the cancer crisis by initiating a Comprehensive National Cancer Control Programme.

Arua and Mbale caters will supplement the already operational cancer treatment center in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital and Uganda cancer institute in Mulago.
“These facilities aim to help in decentralizing cancer treatment services as well as decongest the Uganda Cancer Institute,” said Opendi.
Wamanga Wamai (Mbale Municipality) asked the Minister to explain what the government was doing to mitigate the rampant increase of cancer cases in the country.

“When a person is screened and found to have cancer, they are usually told that it is at an advanced stage. That is why very many of our people are dying of cancer,”
She noted that government is set to have a Comprehensive National Cancer Control Programme that will include care delivery with a National Cancer Centre of Excellence at the centre, cancer service network, cancer research, and a national policy on cancer.

Acknowledges the burden, threat of cancer and other noncommunicable diseases, Opendi said Ugandans had ignored advice from the ministry and partner health programmes to go for early cancer screening, but instead some of them had resorted to traditional methods to try treat the disease.
“We have trained midwives across the country to detect cancer [of the cervix], such that one does not need to move to the cancer institute or a regional referral hospital to carry out cancer screening,” Opendi said.

She implored parents to take their children for vaccination against Hepatitis B, which she said poses a risk of cancer of the liver and Human Papillomavirus

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