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Some health workers think cancer is a virus– Dr Orem

Cancer

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There is a need for intensive sensitization on cancer amongst Ugandans including health workers, the Public Accounts Committee of parliament has heard.

Dr Jackson Orem, the Director of Uganda Cancer Institute disclosed this while appearing before PAC to respond to queries in the Auditor General’s report for Financial Year 2018/19. During the meeting, Committee members raised concern about the increasing cancer deaths in the country and tasked Dr Orem to present a satisfactory explanation.

In his response, Dr Orem pointed out inadequate sensitisation as the major barrier to the fights against cancer. He explained that due to insufficient sensitisation, cancer patients seek treatment during advanced stages when their lives cannot be saved.

Dr Orem also disclosed that some health workers have limited knowledge on cancer and can neither counsel nor diagnose patients correctly. He said some health workers think cancer is contagious.

The Committee members recommended redirection of efforts to cancer prevention, sensitisation and nutrition.

Butemba County MP, Pentagon Innocent Kamusiime emphasized nutrition as the best prevention that can defeat cancer. He advised UCI to cooperate with institutions such as Mwana Mugimu, which specialises in child nutrition to achieve this goal.

Responding to the member’s concerns, Dr Orem informed the committee that preventive strategies are already in place. He also disclosed plans by UCI to recruit 10 nutritionists but all that is required is financial and moral support to effect their plans.

The committee through its Chair, Nathan Nandala Mafabi promised to support the institute to present clear information on the kind of support required.

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