Rotary Uganda, Centenary Bank and partners yesterday held a successful virtual cancer run marking the 10th anniversary since they started the fight against cancer. The Rotary Cancer Run which is held annually to raise funds with the chief purpose of bridging the gap in the fight against cancer saw participants running from the confines of their homes and neighborhoods, in strict observance of Covid-19 protocols.
During his address, the Chief Runner, Fabian Kasi who is also the Managing Director at Centenary Bank said that “Today we mark 10 years of running against cancer! 10years of resilience, 10 years of spreading awareness against the scourge, and 10 years of coming together to search for solutions against cancer. I therefore take this opportunity to show appreciation to everyone who has participated in this noble cause across the country and beyond. Your endeavors demonstrate a commendable will to overcome cancer.”
“As we start on the next 10 years, I call upon all people in and outside Uganda to support this journey. Corporate companies out there, NGOs, Charities, Foundations, Individuals, we are counting on you to join this noble cause.” He noted.
Speaking during the event in Muyenga, the Past District Governor Stephen Mwanje expressed Rotary’s gratitude for the awe-inspiring support from Ugandans and people from all over the world over for running virtually. He said that “We have seen participation in the Cancer run grow from 100 participants to 50,000 participants annually in and outside Uganda in cities like Pennsylvania (USA), Moscow (Russia), Dubai (UAE), Pretoria (SAF), Mombasa and Nairobi (Kenya), and Kigali (Rwanda) among others. All this has been achieved because of your relentless effort.”
“The collections being made this year will be directed towards the construction of two bunkers at Nsambya Hospital that will be housing the 2 cancer testing and treatment machines we hope to import in the near future,” Mwanje emphasized, adding that, “Given the impact of Cancer on our countrymen and the region, the bigger picture for Rotary is that, upon completion of the setup of the cancer testing and treatment center in Kampala, we will continue to work with other players in this fight and reduce the cancer burden affecting our people. In addition to building of bunkers, we are also focusing on training of the medical staff to improve on their skills in cancer treatment.
This year’s Rotary Cancer Run attracted endorsements from different entities urging the people to partake in this year’s as we come together to fight against cancer. Among these endorsements included the Katikiro of Buganda Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga on behalf of Buganda Kingdom.
According to the 2018 Globocan statistics on cancer in Uganda, compiled by the World Health Organisation, indicate that 32,617 new cancer cases were recorded. Of these, 18,068 were female while 14,569 were male. The number of cancer deaths stood at 21,829 of which 11,819 were among females and 10,010 in males.
The trends also observed at the Uganda Cancer Institute, where almost 80 per cent of patients present the disease in advanced stages, hence limited interventions to prolong survival, an indication that the level of knowledge in the public and their perception of cancer, its symptoms, where to access treatment, and the care by the general practitioners is lacking.
The 10th edition of the annual Rotary Cancer Run was sponsored by the Parliament of Uganda, Centenary Bank and supported by New Vision, Rwenzori Bottling Company, Simba, Lycamobile among others.