Cancer screening: Big turnup shocks medics
Posted Wednesday, February 6 2013 at 02:00
A free cancer screening exercise in Sheema District has left medical personnel overwhelmed after hundreds of people, especially women, thronged health centres.
The one-week exercise, which started on Monday, is targeting cancer of the cervix and prostate and will end on Friday with the commemoration of World Cancer Day at the district playground in Kabwohe Town.
However, medical workers were surprised after hundreds turned up at the different health centres for screening. The testing is taking place at Kabwohe Health Centre IV, Kitagata Hospital, Kigarama Health Centre III and Shuuku Health Centre III.
Mr Stephen Karamuzi, a medical worker with Reproductive Health Uganda, who was heading the team at Kabwohe Health Centre IV, said on the first day, they were overwhelmed by the numbers and they did not have enough kits to use.
He said they expected reinforcement from the Ministry of Health.
“We don’t have enough gadgets to use and the numbers are too high. We wait for more than an hour to first sterilise them,” Mr Karamuzi said.
However, he said they were expecting another team to bring more kits yesterday. The district Woman Member of Parliament, Ms Rosemary Nyakikongoro, said people are taking up screening seriously because cancer is on the increase.
“Cases of cancer of the cervix are alarming. Women need to be told that when you are screened early, it can be treated. So this is an opportunity for people in western Uganda to come and know their status,” Ms Nyakikongoro said.
She said the aim of free screening is to demystify the myths that surround cervical cancer and telling people that it can be treated.
Ms Ann Mugisha, one of the beneficiaries from Kyangyenyi Sub-county, said she used to fear going for a checkup but picked courage when she heard that many of her colleagues would be turning up.
“I was very scared because I had several sharp abdominal pains. I thought I had it but when the doctor told me that I was fine, I was very happy,” Ms Mugisha said