The Speaker of Parliament launched the 2017 Rotary Cancer Run with a call to the general public to up its effort in fighting the cancer scourge that is continuing to plague the country.
Statistics at the Uganda Cancer Institute indicate that on average 1,700 new patients are diagnosed with cancer each year, of these about 700 (40%) are children.
Rebecca Kadaga said as Parliament, they are concerned about the worrying trend of the disease, adding that it’s the reason why the institution is coming on board as a platinum sponsor this year, joining Centenary Bank.
“This is a very high figure and we can’t just look on or simply let Rotary do this on its own. We must come together and stop cancer. We must dream of a time when nobody dies of cancer. It may sound unrealistic. Deep down my heart, I know this is possible,” Kadaga said at St. Raphael of St. Francis Hospital, Nsambya.
She added, “We are going to ask each MP to contribute Shs1 Million over two months towards this cause, meaning Shs449 Million will be collected by the legislators.”
Past District Governor and Chair of the Uganda Rotary Cancer Programme Stephen Mwanje said this year the Rotary Cancer Run will focus on raising money to build the bunker for the Linear Accelerator at the Rotary-Centenary Bank Cancer Ward at Nsambya Hospital.
“Last year we managed to get the Linear Accelerator, which is a cancer treatment machine that offers a safer alternative where cancerous cells are destroyed without affecting the surrounding tissue. However, we can’t use it because it needs a bunker. We want to raise USD 1 Million or shs3.6 Billion this year to build it so that Ugandans can be treated here in the country instead of going to India, Kenya or South Africa,” PDG Mwanje said.
Mr Fabian Kasi, the managing director, Centenary Bank, said, “We are honored to have been part of this fight for the last 6 years, participating in all activities, and making this a priority in our philanthropy strategy.”
Adding, “And as our norm has been in the previous years, we began the year by setting aside shs250 Million for rotary activities. Of that amount, shs130 Million is the contribution specific to the cancer run.”
According to the World Health Organisation, the rise in the number of cases of cancer is due to ageing populations and the increasing adoption of risky behavior like; unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercises, alcohol and tobacco abuse.
Tickets for the run go on sale, starting July 1 at Centenary Bank branches, Game Stores, Café Javas, and all Capital Shoppers branches at Shs20,000.