The Nation Media Group Uganda has partnered with, Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) and Uganda Child Cancer Foundation to create a positive impact in lives of children battling cancer.
Dr Joyce Balagadde, the head of Paediatric Department, yesterday said the initiative is of great utility because while cancers "progress faster, [they] respond to treatment better and have a high potential" of beating cancer.
She added: "Due to late diagnosis the number of children diagnosed with cancer is still very high… every year, 3,000 children between the age of 0-18years are diagnosed with cancer … only 25 per cent or 750 of these children are diagnosed and treated at the cancer treatment centres."
Dr Balagadde said it is important that the other 2,250 children are put under care.
She also noted that there is need to build capacity as "only three paediatric oncology, 24 nurses, and four medical officers" are tending to the 750 children afflicted by cancer.
"Globally 80 per cent of children with cancer can now survive and in Ugandan survival rate is at 50 per cent," she said, adding that the plan is to push the survival rate to at least 60 per cent by 2030.
Mr Tony Glencross, the Managing Director Nation Media Group Uganda, said they dedicate every September to drumming up awareness and raising funds to support UCI.
He noted that "the problem of high rate of cancer patients" not receiving treatment can be addressed if tackled as "a collective responsibility".
He added: "We can use our media to educate and spread the word and to raise money, which is Shs2b needed by UCI to meet some of their main challenges."
Dr Jackson Orem, the Executive Director UCI, said: "Cancer is a very big enemy that we have in this country, but the unfortunate bit of it is that it’s only mentioned when somebody dies. And after a short period of time it goes back to sleep."
SupportNMG-Uganda will use its platforms, which include Daily Monitor, NTV, Spark TV, KFM, Dembe FM, The East African, Ennyanda and its digital platforms, to fundraise for financial support for the children undergoing cancer treatment starting September 22, 2021 to February 2022. The support will be worth Shs205,673,400.