Tuesday April 12 marked a year since Rosemary Nankabirwa, a news anchor, lost the battle to Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma (ACC) cancer. On the day, NTV Uganda, where Nankabirwa worked, handed over a waiting shed to the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) at Mulago National Referral Hospital in memory of of their late colleague.
In April 2015, NTV championed a fundraising drive to raise funds for Nankabirwa to get specialised treatment at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. She was at the time receiving treatment at Mulago National Referral Hospital. Unfortunately, she died shortly after arriving at Aga Khan Hospital Nairobi.
ACC is an extremely rare cancer, according to the Uganda Cancer Institute authorities, who say they receive about one case a year. It is only curable when caught in stage 1. Nankabirwa’s was diagnosed at stage 4 and she put up a brave fight to the end.
Uganda Cancer Institute receives about 22,000 new cancer cases annually. Of these, about 20,000 die within a year. UCI encourages the public to go for regular cancer screenings to ensure they are in good health.
The waiting shed will now provide patients, their loved ones and care givers shelter as they wait to see cancer specialists.
“NTV collected Shs134, 501,252 of which Shs69, 649,354 went towards medical expenses and funeral arrangements. The balance of Shs64,851,898 was used to construct the waiting shed. We wanted the money left over after her passing to go towards a good cause. In consultation with the Uganda Cancer Institute, a waiting shed was identified as an immediate outstanding need,” explained NTV’s Managing Director, Aggie Asiimwe Konde.