Cervical cancer: Uganda’s leading silent killer of women
Publish Date: Jan 16, 2014
Cervical cancer:  Uganda’s leading silent killer of women
A Medical team screening a woman for cervical cancer. PHOTO: Esther Namirimu
  • mail
  • img

By Esther Namirimu

In the Uganda over 3,577 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually.

Dr. Fred Okuku of Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago National Referral Hospital said that in the last three years alone, the number of cancer patients shot up with over 60% of the patients presenting advanced cases of the cancer.

“Cervical Cancer is now present at 18 years and not 35 years (as it used to be) because many girls are starting sex at a much younger age,” he said.
The whole country has only 35 cryo therapy machines, with 15 machines in 14 government referral hospitals and one health centre 4 in Nakasongola, according to Dr. Collins Tusingwire, Acting Commissioner for health Services in the Ministry of Health.Cryo therapy machines are machines used for early detection of cancerous cells.
Zach Akinyemi, the Programme for Accessible Health Communication and Education (PACE) Executive Director, said last October that a total of 20 cryo therapy machines were given to 20 private health centers on the ProFam network, in different parts of the country.
1833 women get cervical cancer screening in Lango region.

Women from northern Uganda (Lango sub-region) were glad to get breast and cervical cancer screening tests.  Over 1833 women were screened, counseled and treated during the exercise organized by Isis WICCE; 631 women came from Amolator, 484 from Otuke and 781 came from Lira.

The week long exercise revealed that most women had never had medical attention following the rape and sexual violations they experienced during the war against the rebels of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army.

Dr. Tom Otim, a gynecologist at Lira hospital said that 100 women turned out to be surgery cases, 30 women showed early signs of cancer or abnormal changes and 13 women were positive with cervical cancer.

After screening the medical team identified and treated the commonest condition; 1521 women had chronic pelvic pain, which is a symptom of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is caused by infections that could have risen from the sexual violence or other infections but becomes chronic due to lack of medical care.

Chronic pelvic pain was common among most women who had been abducted and those displaced to IDP camps for several years.

Majority of the women (1191) assessed were formerly abducted and sexually abused and have suffered from lower abdominal pain for several years.

Dr. Otim also noted that most women expressed difficulty in performing manual work like farming. Since the community in Lira district is of mainly peasant farmers (88% of those assessed are peasant farmers) this implies that the women cannot easily engage in agricultural activities.

In addition, the lower abdominal pain poses a great challenge in the women’s sexual lives as many reported having painful sexual intercourse.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Why diets don
A healthy food for one person may lead another to gain weight, according to a study out Thursday that suggests a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting is fundamentally wrong....
Drug shields infants from HIV in breastmilk: study
Giving anti-AIDS drugs directly to infants breastfed by their HIV-positive mothers significantly reduces their risk of contracting the killer virus, researchers said....
Antibiotic resistance levels high worldwide: WHO
Antibiotic resistance, which can turn common ailments into killers, has reached dangerous levels globally, the World Health Organization warned Monday, saying widespread misunderstandings about the problem was fuelling the risk....
Alcoholism drug may help design HIV cure
A treatment for alcoholism can reactivate dormant HIV, potentially allowing other drugs to spot and kill the virus hiding out in human immune cells, researchers said Tuesday....
Prostate cancer on the rise in Uganda
Dr Fred Okuku, an oncologist says cases of prostate cancer are on increase and according to the recent statistics 300 to 400 cases are registered annually....
Ebola vaccine trials get underway in Uganda
ARE you aged 1-70 years and in good health, the Makerere University Walter Reed project is looking for volunteers for the trial of an experimental vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus...
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter