Saturday August 30 2014

Former President Mwinyi urges EAC countries to unite in the fight against cancer

Former Tanzanian president, Ali Hassan Mwinyi

Former Tanzanian president, Ali Hassan Mwinyi (L) receives a banquet of flowers on his arrival at the Nsambya cancer ward yesterday after taking a tour of the cancer ward. Mr Mwinyi arrived in Uganda on Friday to participate in a charity run tomorrow whose proceeds will go towards the construction of a cancer ward at St. Francis Hospital, Nsambya. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By Stephen Kafeero

The fight against cancer should be done with concerted effort of all East African countries, former president of Tanzania Ali Hassan Mwinyi has advised. President Mwinyi was speaking after touring the ongoing construction of the Rotary Centenary Cancer Ward at St Raphael of St Francis Hospital, Nsambya in Kampala on Saturday morning.

“Cancer is a danger to both developed and developing countries, therefore we must be soldiers in fighting it especially in East Africa where the fight should not be for individuals but for all East Africans.”

Mr Mwinyi who was in company of his wife Siti Mwinyi said he was hopeful the run would raise all the money needed to finish the ward.
Dr Martin Nsubuga the medical superintendent of Nsambya Hospital said that the whole fundraising campaign for the cancer run had showed that people are not selfish but needed to be mobilized for a good cause.

“So many times we concerned about people being selfish but this is not what we have seen during the fundraising especially if we have a retired president leaving his comfortable life to join us in this cause.”

Photo by Micheal Kakumirizi

Photo by Micheal Kakumirizi

East African Legislative Assembly legislator Mike Kennedy Sebalu said that Cancer is not an individual fight but was affecting everybody from one way or another. Mr Stephen Mwanje the chairman of Uganda Rotary Cancer programme said that he was proud the ward would be completed 2 years to deadline. “Our plan was to finish the structure in 5 years but we expect to finish it by December 2014, this is 2 years ahead of our deadline.”

NTV Uganda’s Managing Director Agnes Konde presented a cheque worth Shs 10 million to Mr Mwinyi as the company’s contribution towards the completion of the award. Monitor Publications Ltd is part of other corporate companies participating in the run.

About the run
Sunday’s run is expected to attract at least 30,000 runners in the 21km, 10km and 5km categories and will be flagged-off ceremony at a ceremony to be held at the Kololo Airs trip.

Shs 100 million is expected to be raised to complete the 36-bed capacity ward estimated to cost Shs1.3 billion is currently in its final stages.

Last year’s Rotary Cancer Run attracted 10,000 participants and raised over Shs 90 million while the first Run managed to raise Shs 300 million.