The Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday, 9th April 2015 received a petition of the women cancer survivors.
In their petition to Parliament the women urged government to increase cancer drugs in the Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Hospital, saying the number of cancer patients has increased and the drugs are low in stock.
The women under the Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organization (UWOCASO) said government should increase funding toward drugs and the control and management of cancer.
“People being diagnosed with cancer have increased in number, but we have only one treatment center which cannot accommodate the growing numbers of the cancer patients,” said Rebecca Mayengo the Chairperson UWOCASO.
The women’s plight to the Speaker was that government speeds up the process of installing another radiotherapy machine and other equipment in the Cancer Institute.
Mayengo told the Speaker that their organization had learnt that 200 patients received treatment form radiotherapy daily with 50 others under going review.
One of the survivors narrated to the Speaker how she was continuously deferred because of the radiotherapy machine breakdown.
“I moved to Mulago for five months without being worked on, the machine would breakdown because of the many numbers of people being worked on, so I would be told to come back next time,” she said.
The women also recommended for the integration of supportive and palliative cancer care to improve on the quality of life of the cancer patients.
In her response to the women petitioners Rt. Hon. Kadaga thanked the women for their concern and for exposing the silent killer disease.
Kadaga informed the women that their petition was timely and reassured them that Parliament would put their concerns when the budget process begins.
“I am going to forward this petition to the Committee on Health so that your proposals are captured during the budget process,” she stressed.
UWOCASO brings together a group of breast cancer survivors.
It was founded in 2004 by five survivors but has continued to attract more survivors and well wishers.
The current membership is 50 survivors.
NTV former news anchor, Rosemary Nankabirwa, who could not get proper treatment at the Mulago heart and cancer institute, later passed on like many other Ugandans with similar health problems.