UCS has launched its Advocacy Strategy. The Advocacy Strategy was launched by the Commissioner Clinical Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jackson Amone. The objectives of the Advocacy Strategy include; to advocate for the adoption of the National Cancer Control Policy and Program by 2021, to advocate for decentralization of cancer services through the establishment of regional cancer centers by 2021 and to advocate for the establishment of the National Cancer Registry by 2021. The Advocacy Strategy was launched during the UCS General Assembly Meeting 2017 held on 8th July 2017 at City Royal Hotel in Bugolobi, Kampala.
Commissioner Clinical Services, Ministry of Health-Dr. Jackson Amone launches the UCS Advocacy Strategy at the General Assembly Meeting 2017
The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga Alitwala pledges to continue supporting enactment of cancer control policies and laws. The speaker made the pledge on 20th April 2017 at Hotel Africana during the research dissemination meeting of assessment of clinical and psychological needs of Metastatic breast cancer patients, challenges and gaps in meeting their needs in Uganda. The research was carried out by Uganda Women Cancer Support Organization (UWOCASO).
Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga Alitwala pledges to support enactment of cancer control policies and laws
"Cancer needs to be prioritized in the health sector development plan and the health sector strategic plan and investment plan", said the UCS Executive Director, Paul Ebusu. Ebusu noted that the Health sector development plan needs to state national targets and indicators to help measure progress in cancer control. The Executive Director was speaking during a plenary session organized by the Uganda Parliamentary Press Association held on 31st March 2017 at Uganda Cancer Institute. The plenary session under the theme: "demystifying cancer, causing awareness, fighting the stigma". Ebusu also appealed to Parliament to allocate a special budget for establishment of regional cancer centers to decentralize cancer services for access for all. Currently, cancer services are centralized in Kampala and mainly at the Uganda Cancer Institute. Ebusu further called on Parliament to consider budget allocation for the establishment of a national cancer registry. Currently, Uganda is using data from the Kampala cancer registry. But Ebusu noted that it is paramount to have a national registry for purposes of effective national planning.
UCS executive director, Mr. Paul Ebusu (on the microphone) stressing the need for ministry of health to prioritize cancer during the plenary session with Uganda parliamentary press association
Meanwhile, the UCI Director, Dr. Jackson Orem pointed out that progress has been registered in cancer control at the Institute. He was speaking during the plenary session organized by Uganda Parliamentary Press Association. "UCI was previously operating on a budget of 60 million shillings every year but now we receive 41 billion shillings every year", said Dr. Orem. He however revealed that according to projections, the Institute requires 125 billion shillings every year.
UCI director, Dr. Jackson Orem (on the microphone) making presentation on the progress made in cancer control at UCI
Uganda Cancer Society (UCS) in partnership with Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) with financial and technical support from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), have developed and launched cancer education materials for patients, caregivers and healthcare workers. Training on the use of, and launch of the cancer educational materials took place on 27th Jan, 2017 and 3rd Feb, 2017 respectively. These materials are free of charge and are intended to help, 1; patients understand and cope with cancer as they go through treatment, 2; care givers to understand and know how to care for their patients/loved ones and, 3; for healthcare workers to have information appropriate for sharing with patients and caregivers. These materials include a booklet for patients and care givers, and a teaching flipchart tool to be used by health workers, counselors and volunteers interacting with cancer patients.
UCI Director: Dr. Jackson Orem, UCS Vice Chairperson: Dr. Sam Guma, ACS Representative: Zena Bernacca and UCS Executive Director: Paul Ebusu officially launch the Cancer Education Materials at Fairway Hotel
A cross section of participants who attended the training of the Cancer Education Materials at Fairway Hotel
The Uganda Cancer Society in partnership with Uganda Cancer Institute and the Ministry of Health commemorated the World Cancer Day and International Childhood Cancer Day 2017. This year’s theme for World Cancer Day which runs from 2016 is "We can, I can". The Union for International Cancer Control, (UICC), declared 4th February World Cancer Day. This is aimed at increasing cancer awareness to encourage prevention, early detection, and treatment of cancer. In Uganda, the Cancer control family commemorated these days by holding several activities including a match past, information sharing with success stories from cancer survivors as well as visiting cancer patients in the wards. Speaking during the commemoration of World Cancer Day at Uganda Cancer Institute, the Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Achieng revealed that government plans to conduct a comprehensive research on cancer to provide accurate data which will inform interventions towards cancer control.
UCI Director and Chief Walker: Dr. Jackson Orem (standing in for the Minister of Health, Dr. Ruth Achieng) accompanied by the UCS Executive Director, Paul Ebusu and other walkers during the match past held in commemoration of WCD 2017.
Minister of Health: Dr. Ruth Achieng and UCI Director: Dr. Jackson Orem take the lead in visiting patients in the wards at Uganda Cancer Institute as part of the activities to commemorate World Cancer Day 2017
On the front row from left to right: UCI Board member and Member of UCS Advisory Council, Moreen Wavamuno; UCS Board Chairperson, Dr. Margaret Okello & UCI Director Dr. Jackson Orem during the commemoration of the World Cancer Day 2017 at UCI
Meanwhile, 15th February every year is International Childhood Cancer Day and Uganda Cancer Society in partnership with Uganda Cancer Institute joined the rest of the world to commemorate the day. This year, the International Childhood Cancer Day was celebrated under the universal message: "Together for kids with cancer". As such, UCS and UCI marked the day with several activities including: red carpet moment which saw seven children walk on the red carpet and rang a bell to symbolize that they are cancer free, drama skit on cancer, signing of the solidarity banner, information sharing and a success story from a child who survived cancer. According to the World Health Organization estimates for Uganda, cancer causes up to 17,600 deaths each year. In 2016 alone, UCI received 4,000 new cancer cases and 45, 000 cases in total. At the Uganda Cancer Institute, about 65% of all cancer cases seen are infection related.
UCI Director: Dr. Jackson Orem cuts cake with some of the children who were declared cancer free during the commemoration of International Childhood Cancer Day 2017 at the Children’s ward at UCI
UCI Pediatric Oncologist: Dr. Joseph Lubega flanked by some of the children with cancer makes a presentation during the commemoration of International Childhood Cancer day 2017 at the Children’s Ward at UCI
A cross section of participants show off their palms after signing the solidarity banner as part of the activities to commemorate International Childhood Cancer Day 2017
On the Left Cancer based organizations trained on permaculture gardening. UCS Executive Director making remarks and on the right Mr. Paul Ebusu actively takes part during the practical at the permaculture gardening workshop on 8th March 2017 at Hospice Africa Uganda
The newly elected Chairperson of the UCS Board of Directors, (BOD), Dr. Margaret Okello Nyeko has pledged to uphold the UCS constitution, the BOD charter and ensure the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2016/2018. Dr. Margaret Okello Nyeko made the remarks after she was announced the new Chairperson, taking over from Dr. Jackson Orem. The elections were held during the General Assembly Meeting, (GAM) on 24th September 2016 at City Royal Hotel-Bugolobi in Kampala. The GAM further elected Dr. Samuel Guma as Vice Chairperson, Mrs. Evah Kabanda as Secretary and Mr. Ben Ikara as Treasurer. Other members elected include; Mrs. Rebecca Kiziri Mayengo, Mr. Albert Tusiime, Ms Gertrude Nakigudde, Ms. Claire Judith Acheing, Mrs. Margaret Okello and Ms. Agnes Agwang. The GAM resolved that the one member will be a government representative who will be identified and recommended by government. According to the recently adopted UCS constitution, the BOD comprises not less than 9 members and not more than 11 members.
Meanwhile, the GAM approved members of the Advisory Council who include; Professor Charles Olweny, Dr. Amandua Jacinto, Dr. Jackson Orem, Mrs. Morine Wavahmuno, and Mrs. Miriam Wipfler. Professor Olweny who attended the GAM noted that all the members who were nominated and approved as members of the advisory council are committed. He applauded UCS for exhibiting a high level of Professionalism, adherence to principals and strictness during the GAM adding that UCS is poised for success if such values are continuously upheld.
In a related development, the UCS 2016/2018 Strategic Plan was launched during the GAM. While launching the Strategic Plan, the Guest of Honor, Dr. Jacinto Amandua urged the incoming BOD to ensure implementation of the Strategic Plan for effective results.
UCS is poised to get a new Board of Directors come 24th September 2016. The new board will be elected during the General Assembly Meeting. To be eligible to be voted and to vote, a member must be from an organization that is fully registered. This means the organization must have paid full membership fees. The new Board will constitute; Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary and 7 other members.
Cross section of outgoing UCS BOD members attending a capacity building workshop on governance
A break-away group discussion of outgoing BOD members during a capacity building workshop on governance
"Uganda Cancer Society, (UCS) will only be in position to carry out its coordination role meaningfully with a guiding law", said the UCS Board Chairperson, Dr. Jackson Orem. Dr. Orem made the remarks after the UCS General Assembly adopted the UCS constitution. He advised the UCS management to ensure that contributions from all member organizations are embedded in the constitution to avoid conflict. The constitution was adopted during an Extra-Ordinary General Assembly Meeting that was held on 20th August and attended by 15 member organizations at the UCS Boardroom.
Members scrutinize draft constitution before it was adopted
Members deliberate on the draft constitution
Member Organizations during the Extra ordinary general assembly meeting to review and adopt UCS constitution
In a related development, the UCS Board Charter and Strategic Plan have also been adopted. These were adopted during Extra-ordinary Board meetings which were both held during the month of August. These documents were reviewed by UCS Board members before they were adopted.
BOD members reviewing the Board Charter
BOD members during a meeting to review and adopt Board Charter
BOD members during a meeting to review and adopt the UCS Strategic Plan
Stakeholders have reviewed the UCS draft Strategic Plan. This happened on 30th June 2016 at City Royale Hotel in Bugolobi. The review meeting was attended by stakeholders who participated in the data collection process and these included Civil Society Organizations that are mostly UCS member organizations. The Draft Strategic Plan will then be presented to the Board Members for their approval and subsequently launched during the Annual General Meeting. Once approved and launched, UCS will therefore have a clearly defined strategic direction it should take for the next 3-5 years.
Stakeholders review the draft strategic plan
Group discussion on the draft strategic plan
A cross section of the stakeholders studying the draft strategic at the review meeting on 30th June 2016 at city royal hotel in Bugolobi
One of the break-away groups deliberate on the different sections of the strategic plan
UCS joined stakeholders for the Annual Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). It was organized by the Uganda Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance (UNCDA). This annual symposium which was held on 24th June 2016 at Hotel Africana is an important platform for discussing strategies for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in Uganda. This year’s meeting focused on progress made in Uganda in the areas of policy, strategic plans and in implementing international benchmarks on NCDs set by the World Health Organization. The NCD Stakeholders’ Meeting brought together a wide range of participants from government ministries (notably Health), Parliament, World Health Organization, NCD societies/associations (notably that of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart disease), other civil society involved in non-communicable diseases work, media, academia and private sector.
The stakeholders recognized that Non-Communicable Diseases are still a major healthcare and development problem in Uganda. Some of the gaps in cancer control were identified as follows; absence of the necessary NCD control policies both at national and global level. At national level, it was recognized that Uganda has not yet instituted a policy on NCDs while at Global level, there is need for the WHO to fast track the adoption of the AFRO NCD framework. Stakeholders further noted that there is need for government to include NCDs in the Universal health insurance. Stakeholders also called upon the Civil Society to increase efforts on awareness, prevention, resource mobilization as well as patient support for NCDs.
They therefore made several commitments towards addressing the existing gaps and notable was WHO’s commitment to support negotiation of affordable medicine for NCDs and re-affirmed their continued support for monitoring and evaluating implementation of political declaration on NCDs and global action plans. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health pledged to expedite the development of policies and regulatory frameworks on NCDs, ensure laws and policies on NCDs are enforced and implement the multi-sectoral approach among others. On their part, the Civil Society pledged to actively participate in the multi-sectoral platform and continuously engage in coordination, advocacy and awareness on NCDs.
Participants at the annual stakeholders meeting on NCDS held on 24th June 2016 at hotel Africana
The who focal person on NCDS-dr. Hafisa kasule making a presentation during the annual stakeholders meeting held on 24th June 2016 at hotel Africana
In developing the Strategic Plan (SP), UCS is gathering views and information from different stakeholders on what they perceive, believe, think or recommend should and or must be the strategic direction of the society for the next 3-5 years. Among the different data collection processes, UCS convened a special Board meeting on 1st March, 2016 to seek the board’s views on the strategic direction the society should actually take in the next 3-5 years. Also Key Informants Interviews (KII) were conducted from 15th to 30th March, 2016 as part of the data collection process in which views were sought from key and relevant stakeholders in cancer control. The stakeholders for the KII were identified under the categories; Government, Civil Society, the Media Fraternity, WHO, and the Private Sector
Stakeholders take a group photo after the meeting on Strategic Planning at Grand Global Hotel in Kampala
Additionally, a stake-holder's meeting was held on 17th March, 2016 to gather more views and information from UCS member organizations and individuals on what direction they think the society should take.
In this meeting, 19 member organizations to USC were represented. The data and views emerging from the data collection process will be analyzed and incorporated to form a draft strategic Plan. The draft Strategic Plan will then be reviewed by all stakeholders who participated in the data collection process before it is presented to the UCS Board Of Directors for approval and subsequently launched at the Annual General Meeting end of June 2016.
Members discuss during the group break-away session at the Stakeholder’s meeting on Strategic Planning held at Grand Global Hotel in Kampala
In a bid to formalize membership registration and bring new members on board, UCS organized a stakeholders meeting on membership recruitment on 2nd March 2016. The objective of the meeting was to engage stakeholders and seek their views on best approaches to encourage membership registration. The meeting also aimed identifying mechanisms for distinguishing membership categories, their benefits, as well as the respective membership fees.
In formalizing membership, UCS was strategically ensuring that member organizations are recognized in its database and thus enabling them to participate in the strategic plan development process. Up to 18 organizations were represented including; Out of these organizations, 11 have so far registered.
Participants representing different organizations attending the UCS membership drive meeting
Uganda Cancer Control family joined the rest of the world to commemorate World Cancer Day on 2nd February and International Childhood Cancer Day on 15th February. These global days are commemorated to encourage communities around the world to create awareness about cancer with the objective of reducing the cancer burden through promoting prevention, early detection, and treatment; and to provide support and care for those suffering with cancer.
In Uganda, the Civil Society together with Government as jointly led by Uganda Cancer Society and Uganda Cancer Institute respectively held several activities to mark these days. Among other activities conducted in commemoration of these two days are; breakfast meeting dialogues with different stakeholders aimed at information and sharing, T-shirt branding and signing of banners aimed at creating awareness, visit of patients in wards and giving them fruits aimed at patient support, and vaccination of girls between the ages of 9-13 against the Human Papilloma Virus aimed at preventing cervical cancer as well as a blood donation drive for the community.
Partners take a group photo in front of the new UCI building after visiting patients
Participants during the World Cancer Day breakfast dialogue at UC
One of the participants during the breakfast dialogue on World Cancer Day makes her submission
Stakeholders during a preparatory meeting ahead of the World Cancer Day Commerations
Adolescent girls make a sign of vaccination as a way of encouraging their peers to get vaccinated against the HPV
A health worker registers one of the adolescent girls for the HPV Vaccination while giving her information about the vaccination
On the left, Participants attentively listen to the panelist: On the right, one of the participants asks some questions directed to the panelists
Participants form a ribbon in front of new UCI ward
Cancer organizations and networks working in Low- and Middle-Income Countries are poised to become effective and collaborative in their response to the local cancer burden.
Cancer is an emerging health issue in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Many of these countries are ill-prepared to adequately address the increasing burden of the disease. In addition, non-profit organizations in the LMICs are not yet fully engaged in effectively fighting cancer. As the burden increases across the globe, a response appropriate to the scale of the projected epidemic is needed.
The American Cancer Society is committed to saving lives from cancer and reducing the threat of the disease, not just in the United States, but globally. As such, American Cancer Society launched the SOURCE (Strengthening Organizations for a United Response to the Cancer Epidemic) Program in 2016 in Uganda and Kenya as the first countries of focus among the LMICs. The goal of the SOURCE program is to strengthen organizations in cancer control across seven domains including governance, financial sustainability, financial management, program management, human resource management, operations and administration and external relations and partnerships. In Uganda, the SOURCE program was launched on 21st January 2016 at Fairway Hotel in Kampala. Some organizations have already gone through an assessment as part of the process to identify those that can benefit from the SOURRCE program and these include; African Palliative Care Association, Bless a Child Foundation, Palliative Care Association Uganda, Uganda Non-Communicable Disease Alliance, Uganda Cancer Research Foundation, Friends Crew Africa, Cancer Charity Foundation/Haven Hostel, Women’s Awareness Against Cancer, Uganda Alliance of Patient Organizations, Uganda Cancer Fund, Health Aid, Cancer Aid Organization, Uganda Children’s Cancer Fund, National Cancer Awareness Association of Uganda, Uganda Women’s Health Initiative, Hospice Africa Uganda, Uganda Women’s Cancer Support Organization, Kawempe Home Care, Makerere/Mulago Palliative Care Unit, and the Uganda Cancer Society.
By taking part in the SOURCE Program, the staff and volunteers of targeted organizations will be given the opportunity to learn practical new skills and best practices in organizational development and be supported and mentored in this process.
Source Program Launch
ACS launches SOURCE Program in Uganda; Left to Right: ACS Director Global Capacity Development, Kristie McComb, UCI Managing Director Dr. Jackson Orem & USA Deputy Chief of Mission Ms. Patricia Mahoney
Left-Right; UCS Programs Director: Mr. Paul Ebusu, Mrs. Margaret Okello a counselor working with the Cancer Aid Organization, DNCDA’s Susaane Volqvartz, UCS Finance and Administration Officer: Winnie Nabatanzi and Uganda Non-Communicable Disease Alliance CEO; Grcace Amongi take a photo in front of UCS offices after a brief meeting
4th on the left is UCS Programs Director: Mr. Paul Ebusu together with other stakeholders who were part of the High Level Consultative meeting on drug control policy
UCS staff attend the Palliative Care Association Uganda’s Annual General Meeting held on held on 26th February at the Association’s offices
Upper Mulago Hill Road,Old Mulago
P.O. Box 7242 Kampala Uganda
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