ARUA- Ayivu County legislator, Mr Bernard Atiku has asked government to pay extra attention to the cancer and diabetes problem, especially in Arua District.
“Arua alone loses more people to cancer than most of the known diseases. The situation is compounded further by the absence of drugs and health care,” he said.
Mr Atiku was speaking at the launch of the Uganda Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance [UNCDA] in Arua on Saturday.
Recently, Health minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda said the increasing rate of cancer infections has made the disease an epidemic of sorts.
“People need to know and appreciate that cancer is now an epidemic but when detected and treated early, it can be cured,” said Rugunda.
According to the World Health Organisation, a disease is declared an epidemic if it spreads rapidly and kills many people at the same time.
Mr Constance Kekihembo, the UNCDA chief executive officer, said his organisation has recruited more than 262 volunteers in Arua, Kampala, Gulu, Serere and Amuria among other districts to fight non-communicable diseases.
Ms Josephine Ejag, a senior nursing officer at Mulago Hospital, said there has been a noticeable increase in the spread of cancer and diabetes among young women.
Data at the Uganda Heart Institute indicates that more than 450 cervical cancer cases are reported annually.
It also indicates that a number of elderly women increasingly continue to be affected by cervical cancer.
However, out of 100 men with prostate cancer, only 15 per cent require treatment, according to available data.