Coca-Cola Beverages has joined hands with Rotary Uganda as a sponsor of the 2021 Rotary Cancer Run slated for Sunday, 29th August. Coca-Cola Beverages Africa will hydrate the runners with 800 cartons of Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral water that will be accessed from the different water points by the runners and also distribute sanitizer packs as part of the safety protocols.
The Rotary Cancer Run 2021 is marking its 10th Anniversary in Uganda and targets a collection of Shs1billion towards the alleviation of cancer in Uganda. To further commemorate the 10th anniversary, the celebrations will continue for another nine days after the official run.
Speaking at the event to announce their sponsorship, Catherine Gita, the Human Resource Director at Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Uganda commended the Rotary Cancer Run for their 10-year dedication to rid Uganda of this ailment and implored everyone to participate.
“Our heritage in Uganda is not just pegged to being a symbol of refreshing hydration; it also includes decades of humanitarian causes either initiated or sponsored by us. It is therefore second nature for us to be standing here with Rotary Uganda and showing support by handing over Rwenzori Pure Natural Mineral Water for the runners to remain hydrated and steady while on their running routes. I encourage all of us to participate in this worthy cause. Our employees and their families will be encouraged to run come Sunday.”
Speaking at the event, Charles Odaga, the Chairman of Rotary Cancer Run 2021, called upon the public to join the worthy cause.
“I invite everybody to participate because we have all been affected by cancer in our communities. Cancer is a huge problem in this country and the world over. Through this initiative, we are providing spaces that will help with the treatment and management of cancer. After the construction of the 36 bed Rotary Cancer Centre at Nsambya Hospital, we embarked on a much more ambitious project of bringing high-tech cancer treatment machinery into the country. The 2021 cancer run seeks to raise funds for the construction of bunkers needed for installation of linear accelerators at Nsambya Hospital by 2023,” he said.
According to a recent Uganda Cancer Institute management report, the number of cancer cases handled annually at the facility had doubled over the last five years, with children contributing 10 per cent of the new cases. The number of patients handled in 2015 stood at 4,000 but in 2020, it shot up to 7,400 and it is expected to rise further according to Dr. Nixon Niyonzima, the head of research at UCI. The increase is coming from high numbers of women presenting with cervical and breast cancer, men with prostate cancer, cases of lymphoma in children, among others.
“Thank you, Rotary Uganda, for continuing to drive this initiative despite the COVID-19 pandemic. We know how important it is for Ugandans and Ugandans dealing with cancer. We admire the values that Rotary lives by: Service, Integrity, Diversity, Fellowship and Leadership all of which mirror Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, Uganda’s values, in many ways,” noted Catherine Gita.
“At CCBA we believe in leadership, collaboration, integrity, accountability, passion, diversity, and quality so as we stand here together, we are speaking the same language. Our employees will get involved because we, with you, are joined at the hip to do what we can to help our communities and save the lives of Ugandans. The Uganda Rotary Cancer Run is a great opportunity for our people to physically support and prove that we are in this together,” she concluded.
The Rotary Cancer Run (RCR) started in 2012 as one of the major fundraising vehicles of Uganda Rotary Cancer Programme. It’s held annually to raise funds intended to bridge the gap in the fight against cancer. The government would need at least $5 million (18 billion shillings) to put up a specialized facility where all types of cancers can be treated within the country as opposed to going abroad where it’s more expensive.