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Cancer Institute seeks Shs500b to implement Uganda’s cancer control plan

Kampala, (UG):- Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) is seeking Shs511 billion for the implementation of the National Cancer Control Plan (UNCP) scheduled to start in early 2025.

The 2024/25-2029/30 UNCP is being developed by UCI, expected to cost Shs670billion. Authorities say the Ugandan government has committed to contribute Shs18billion while the balance is expected to come from internal and external donors.

Speaking at the quarterly update meeting of the Palliative Care Association of Uganda on February 23, UCI head of the National Cancer Control Secretariat and Community Cancer Services, Research and Training Directorate Dr Noleb Mugisha called for funding to reduce the disease burden in Uganda.

According to a plan extensively presented by Dr Mugisha, the $170m (over Shs670billion) will be broken into five years as; $27.2m to be spent in the first year, $28.9m in the second, $38.2m in the third, $34.2m in the fourth and $41.6m in the last year.

“The plan aims at strengthening capacity in cancer prevention, early detection, curative, palliative care and survivorship interventions in the national health and development agenda,” he noted.

“It will also promote partnership and collaboration in cancer control, build cancer surveillance systems and research to support national planning and implementation of interventions and as well set standards and coordinate interventions across implementing stakeholder,” he added.

The 2020 statistics from Global Cancer Observatory (GCO), an interactive web-based platform presenting global cancer, indicated that there are 34,008 new cancer cases with 22,992 deaths attributed to cancer in Uganda.

Of these, other types of cancer led with 15,840 cases, followed by cervical cancer with 6,900, Kaposi sarcoma followed, then breast cancer among others.

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Dr Mugume said the plan, if implemented, has a capacity of averting the increasing cancer burden in the country.

“We want to reduce the proportion of patients presenting with advanced cancer through increasing coverage of cervical, breast, and prostate cancer screening services, develop and implement national guidelines for early detection of cancers in children and develop human resource capacity for cancer,” he said.

Speaking at the same meeting, Uganda Cancer Society executive director Dennis Olodi said they are engaging patients and learning from them in addition to establishing their preferences and concerns for participating in cancer control activities, including policy engagement.

He noted that most patients have decried the high cost of buying drugs, especially expensive ones.

“Patients informed us that expensive drugs which may not be available some days at the hospital pharmacy, would be nice to have them available since looking for it elsewhere is sometimes impossible,” he noted.

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In his communication, the Country Director, the Palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU), Mark Donald Mwesiga called for more funding for the services in Uganda.

Source: Monitor

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