dfcu Bank has officially handed over a new 100-seater shelter and refurbished Children’s Play Area to the Uganda Cancer Institute in a bid to provide the outpatients with a secure and decent waiting area and the children with an updated and fun playing area.
This handover follows a pledge made approximately six months ago by the Bank to construct a shelter estimated at UGX80M at the facility which receives up to 60 patients daily, with many of these camping under trees as they await consultation from the doctors.
The event was graced by Minister of State for Heath (Primary Health Care), Hon. Margaret Muhanga Mugisa, who applauded dfcu Bank for supplementing government efforts in enhancing health service delivery.
“The effects of cancer tend to have a toll on not only patients, but their families too, financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. All efforts to support them through this time are necessary and appreciated,” she said.
“Statistics indicate that we receive about 6,000 patients per week at the Institute. Most often, the available space is not enough to accommodate all of them. With this waiting shelter and a play area for the children who are going through unimaginable challenges, the load of both patients and caretakers will be lightened,” she added.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Dr. Victoria Walusansa the Deputy Executive Director of Uganda Cancer Institute expressed his eternal gratitude to dfcu Bank for their remarkable humanitarian efforts and prioritizing the health of Ugandans. He further praised the Bank for refurbishing the children’s play area which is “sometimes the only source of normalcy for the children fighting the deadly disease.”
“The fact that Cancer continues to be an issue across Uganda is evidenced by the high patient load here at Uganda Cancer Institute. We are eternally grateful to dfcu Bank for partnering with us to improve the experience of the patients and their caretakers as they go through these trying moments in their lives,” he remarked.
Established in 1967 with a mission of providing state-of-the-art cancer care services while advancing knowledge through research and training, the Uganda Cancer Institute is the only facility in the country that offers cancer care services. It therefore continues to struggle with the high patient load brought about by the increased cancer awareness in Uganda.
“Leaving a lasting impact on individuals and communities is a key part of the Corporate Social Investment initiatives that dfcu Bank is involved in across Uganda. We are therefore delighted to handover this new shelter that will give hundreds of patients and caretakers a chance to sit and rest after long days of treatment and travel,” said dfcu Bank’s Chief Executive Officer Mathias Katamba.
Katamba called upon individuals and organisations to also partner with Uganda Cancer Institute as there is a lot more that can be done to reduce the burden that cancer has imposed on individuals across the country.
Statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Globocan report for Uganda put the risk of developing cancer before the age of 75 at 15.8% in males and 16.0% in females. As of 2020, there were 34,008 new cases of cancer with 22,992 deaths with the number of prevalent cases over 5 years standing at 62,548.