Cancer Care in Countries in Transition in Africa: The Case of Uganda
Mwaka, Amos Deogratius
Garimoi, Orach Christopher
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Uganda is a low-income country experiencing epidemiological transition with a double burden of communicable diseases including malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV as well as a rising incidence of noncommunicable diseases including cancers, hypertension, and heart diseases and diabetes. The country has a high population growth rate of 3.5 %. The population of the older people who are more prone to cancers is increasing exponentially and cancers related to lifestyles and old age are on the increase. This is in addition to the high rates of infection-related cancers including cervical cancer (most common cancer among women in Uganda), Kaposi sarcoma, and hepatocellular carcinoma. These infection-related cancers predominantly affect the young economically productive age groups and hence contribute negatively to economic production and poverty eradication. Majority of cancer patients in Uganda are diagnosed with advanced stage cancers and experience poor survival. There are few specialized cancer care facilities and cancer specialists in Uganda. Hospice Africa Uganda contributes immensely to the care of the terminally ill cancer patients while the Kampala Cancer registry provides high quality data on cancer exposures, incidences, and mortality to guide planning, research, and policy on care for cancer.