By Moses Muwulya,Communications Officer
Except in Greater Masaka Region, where Kitovu Mobile is the oasis of palliative care;and in other areas where Palliative Care services are offered,in many parts of Uganda pitiable advanced cancer patients die in pain and with no dignity. Others are abandoned by by their relatives. All this largely due to lack of palliative care services in all parts of Uganda.
But as per Uganda’s Health Minister,Jane Ruth Aceng,the good news is that this misery may soon come to end. This comes after the minister disclosed that government will roll out palliative care services to treat cancer symptoms in all districts of the country.
The minister,who was speaking at the Second Uganda Conference on Cancer and Palliative Care, in which Kitovu Mobile participated, on Thursday 05 September,at Kampala Serena Hotel,said only 70 out of 136 districts in Uganda benefit from the service because the other districts are taking long to accept it.
The burden of advanced Cancer patients who just need palliative care to die without pain and with dignity, remains high leaving Non Government Organisations that render palliative care services overwhelmed.
In Greater Masaka region,Kitovu Mobile is taking the lead in offering holistic palliative care services. Currently over 600 patients are getting palliative care from Kitovu Mobile.
Many of these have are cancer patients fighting both related and none HIV related cancers .
Move to reduce on the infamous numbers.
Because of this influx of patients presenting with advanced cancers,Kitovu Mobile is moots for massive cancer awareness campaigns to have Greater Masaka Communities aware of cancer,dislodge myths attached to cancer and embrace early,regular cancer screening.
To effect this,Kitovu Mobile will need a mobile out reach van to traverse the remote communities of Greater Masaka,sensitising and screening for cancer,especially the commonest types; cervical and breast cancer.
This will see high prevalence in many clients who present with early staged cancers that are easily manageable cases and high chances of survival but not just settling for palliative care.