By Freddie K. Kiapi
In response to the various media reports about the increasing cases of death from all forms of cancers in Uganda, it has now become pertinent to make men become champions of the fight against cancer and they control power and almost the resources in form of human and capital.
Men has had little or virtually no role in the cancer campaign in Uganda at all over the years due to lack of either interest or limited sensitisation that cancer does not only affect men but men too.
We may be accustomed to breast cancer but there are other forms of cancer synonymous to death and men as a human species are not spared.
It is like men are not part of any struggle in any health related campaign as victims part of being around than in, as the case with circumcision.
If we are to pass on the message about the dangers of cancer to all humans, men need to become agents of change in Uganda.
As statistics show, the trend in which cancer is causing death around the world according to WHO with 14.1 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer deaths in 2012 and predicts that a substantive increase to 19.3 million new cancer cases per year by 2025, due to growth and ageing of the global population with less developed countries taking the lion’s share.
Dr Christopher Wild, Director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says that, “An urgent need in cancer control today should be developed with effective and affordable approaches to the early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer among women living in less developed countries.”
The pointer here is that most of the report and statistics focus on women with no mention of men hence, the call to all stakeholders to awaken cancer awareness campaigns to have them involved in the planning, decision making and implementation.
Studies in countries like Ireland, the United States of America and Canada cancer among men is increasing with many deaths, therefore, this may be wake up call for Uganda to incorporate men into the campaigns against cancer.
The effects of cancer to the householders and the nation are high and the price paid is so huge that at times societies do not realise that men too have a role to play.
Stakeholders need to undertake research too about men and the problem of cancer and this should not be whitewashed as a women’s only problem.
In the near future, the Commonwealth Association –Uganda will be rolling out an awareness campaign for men towards the cancer fight as a means reenergising the country’s strategic interventions.
As we commemorate the 2014 women’s day with the theme: “Equality for women is progress for all,” men cannot be under looked in supporting the cancer campaign in our society per se if the theme is to have any meaning at all on Uganda’s path to achieving the transformation process enshrined in the NDP and the Vision 2040.
The writer is the Executive Director of the Commonwealth Association-Uganda