The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) is urging cancer patients to prioritize medical treatment and diagnosis over seeking help from pastors and traditional healers.
Addressing the press at the Uganda Media Centre, Dr. Orem Jackson, Executive Director of UCI, emphasized that “cancer is a disease, not witchcraft,” and stressed that traditional healers lack the qualifications to treat cancer effectively.
Orem highlighted several interventions undertaken to address the challenge of access to cancer treatment, including the construction of regional cancer hospitals in Mbale, Gulu, Arua, and Mbarara.
February marks World Cancer Month, but according to the UCI and medical experts, new cancer cases in Uganda have risen sharply. Oral sex, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption are identified as major risk factors. The UCI says over 34,000 new cancer cases are registered each year and only 7,000 patients managing to receive treatment.