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Women in Busoga demand cancer screening at lower health facilities

Patients await cancer screening at Jinja hospital. URN photo

Jinja, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Women in the Busoga region want screening for both cervical cancer and breast cancer extended to lower health facilities.

They say that the lack of screening services has left many women to die silently without intervention.

Jinja hospital conducts a weekly breast and cervical cancer clinic on Wednesdays, where suspected cancer cases from the different health facilities within the Busoga sub-region are referred for further screening. However, many women especially in rural areas have missed out due to the long distance.

Annette Baseeke, a resident in Kayunga district says that she was referred to Jinja hospital for further screening in 2019, but due to transport challenges, she had opted to withstand the persistent pain.

Baseeke adds that some people are shunning away from cancer screening due to long distances and ignorance. She says that extending screening services to lower health facilities will save the lives of many women.

Anania Wandera, a resident of Kitukilo village in Butagaya sub-county, Jinja district says that she spent 20,000 Shillings on transport to Jinja hospital for cancer screening session, which he says is costly.

Betty Nabwiire, a retired nurse says that the government should construct hospitals in each of the new districts, with fully equipped cancer wards to enable patients access both screening and treatment services in one area.

Nabwiire further stresses that the Uganda Cancer Institute should also increase the cancer awareness drives at the district levels, which will attract hesitant members of the general public to embrace cancer screening.

Collins Mpa’amani, the program coordinator of UCI’s breast cancer healthcare improvement program told URN that they are conducting baseline studies aimed at assessing the problem of breast cancer infections throughout Eastern Uganda.

Mpa’amani further stresses that there are efforts of equipping the village health team members with the necessary skills in referring suspected breast cancer victims to the nearest screening centers.

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