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By Our Reporter
The annual Rotary Cancer Run returned on Sunday for its 11th edition at the Kololo Independence grounds, attracting close to 40,000 runners from across the globe.
Through the Cancer Run for the past 11 years, Rotary and its partners have sought to continue the fight against cancer in Uganda. This year, the aim of the run was to raise funds to build bunkers which will house the modern cancer screening and testing machines at Nsambya Hospital.
The construction of the bunkers commenced in May 2022, however, there is still a big gap of UGX 11.8billion that needs to be raised for the construction. These bunkers will house 2 ultra-modern linear accelerators which are cancer testing and treatment machines.
Speaking during the event at Kololo, the Chair Board of Trustees, Rotary Cancer Program, Stephen Mwanje expressed Rotary’s gratitude for the support from Ugandans and people from all over the world for participating in the run. He said that, “We have seen participation in the Cancer run grow from 100 participants to 50,000 participants annually in and outside Uganda. This year we have Bujumbura, Kigali, Dubai, Dar es salaam, Beijing, Sudan, Nigeria, Libya, New Delhi, Mombasa, Khartoum. All this has been achieved because of your relentless effort.”
“The collections being made this year will be directed towards the construction of two bunkers at Nsambya Hospital that will be housing the 2 cancer testing and treatment machines we hope to import in the near future,” Mwanje added.
The chief runner the Rotary International president Jennifer Jones appreciated Ugandans for their love and support towards the cause of improving the health system in Uganda. “I am a survivor of cancer and I strongly believe that with the right treatments in place and with early detection, we can get rid of cancer in the country.”
The trends observed at the Uganda Cancer Institute show almost 80 per cent of patients present the disease in advanced stages, hence limited interventions to prolong survival, an indication that the level of knowledge in the public and their perception of cancer, its symptoms, where to access treatment, and the care by the general practitioners is lacking.
Speaking at the marathon ceremony, Fabian Kasi, the Managing Director Centenary Bank noted that Centenary Bank bought into the vision of Rotary Uganda 11 years ago and still believes in the same cause today.
“We have partnered with Rotary Uganda for the past eleven years to support this run and this year; we have contributed UGX 150 million shillings towards the cause. Cancer has had an impact on each and every Ugandan both directly and indirectly. The onus is therefore on us to join forces and wage war on the incapacities in our health systems to treat this disease that has ravaged our households,” Kasi said.
The Rotary Cancer Run is an annual event organized since 2012 by Rotarians to bridge the gap in the fight against the cancer scourge. Since inception, the run has raised Shs 2.3 billion and many other forms of support in kind rendered to facilitate the fight against cancer in Uganda.
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