In Uganda, about 4,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.
PIC: Safina Nyesige displays items used in cervical cancer screening. (Credit: Ismael Kasooha)
HEALTH | CANCER
KAGADI - The Uganda Cancer Institute in partnership with Kagadi Hospital and Uganda Rural Development and Training Programme, has launched the early cervical cancer screening, prevention and treatment project in Kagadi district.
The project, dubbed Enjoying life and saving women from cervical cancer, was launched at Kagadi Hospital recently.
Dr Carol Nakisige, who represented the executive director for Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr. Jackson Orem, launched the project.
“Cervical cancer is the number one killer in Uganda and in most sub-Saharan African countries. In Uganda alone, about 4,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year," Nakisige said.
She said if nothing is done, it is estimated that the numbers will double by the year 2050.
Dr Nakisige, who is also a gynecologist at the Uganda Cancer Institute, commended the Kagadi Hospital administration and the Uganda Rural development and Training Programme for the training, research and partnering with the institute to ensure the project is launched in Kagadi.
Dr Nakisige pledged support for the continuity of the project. She stressed the need for the integration of the programme with other services such as voluntary HIV testing and counselling services.
Dr. Isaac Kakibogo, the Kagadi Hospital medical superintendent, said the cervical cancer screening room has been established at the health facility. He said at least 20 nurses from have been trained to manage the screening and treatment of women diagnosed with early risks of Human Papilloma Virus.
Kakibogo asked the health ministry to upgrade Kagadi Hospital to regional referral health facility.
Safina Nyesige, an enrolled nurse in charge of early cervical cancer screening and treatment at the health facility, said out of 82 women who were diagnosed with cervical cancer, five were found positive and treated with cryotherapy drugs.
Dr Marlikie Defouw, a support medical doctor in charge Tropical Medicine and international health at the Female Cancer Foundation, 11 countries in Africa, including Uganda, have had an opportunity of establishing cervical cancer projects.
She said cancer of the cervix is the second most common cancer among women worldwide and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in resource poor setting where access to cervical cancer screening and vaccination is limited.
“In order to prevent deaths due to cervical cancer in Uganda, a multi-disciplinary approach is proposed. Early screening for cervical cancer has shown to be the most effective measure against the virus,” she said.
Jennifer Kyomuhendo Mbabazi, the Kagadi district Woman MP, said lack of awareness as well as negative attitudes towards testing for cancer are barriers to prevention and treatment.