The Observer (Kampala)

12 February 2013

Uganda: Cancer Run Proceeds to Boost Hygiene

Namabiro Foundation, a child cancer awareness NGO, together with Uganda Child Cancer Foundation is organizing a fundraising campaign for children afflicted with cancer.

The fundraising is going to be done through the annual children's cancer run slated for February 23, and all proceeds will go towards the child cancer sanitation programme.

"We do understand that most child cancer victims are from poor hygiene backgrounds and basic essentials are out of reach for many. One of [our] major missions is to advocate for a comprehensive and universal social health insurance that would provide access to affordable and quality cancer sanitation material," Florence Namabiro, the founder, Namabiro Foundation, said.

About Shs 50m is expected to be raised. The commonest cancer in children is Burkett's lymphoma, followed by Kaposi's sarcoma. Burkett's lymphoma affects the jaw while Kaposi's sarcoma is commonly associated with HIV/Aids and mainly affects the blood vessels. Over 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer annually and cancer cases have increased from 15,000 in 2010 to over 33,000 currently.

Unfortunately, according to the Uganda Cancer Institute, only 15% of children with cancers countrywide are diagnosed, because of ignorance.

"Many children report to the hospital at a late stage of the infection due to ignorance, many people first consult traditional healers," Namabiro said.

The run will be open to all children 12 years and below and all participants will receive a certificate. The event will also have free cancer screening as part of the celebrations to mark the International Child Cancer day, which falls on February 15.

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