While Uganda may be regarded as a regional centre of excellence in cancer related cases, many children continue to die of cancer at the hands of unspecialised health workers.
According to the Uganda Cancer Institute efforts tor each these children as still futile and hopes lie in the establishment of regional cancer centres.
This was revealed in a study conducted by the institute titled; “The Cost Effectiveness of Treating Burkitt Lymphoma in Uganda.”
According to the study, this has been majorly because of fear by parents and caretakers to invest in treating these children.
“Up to 55% of the children we followed up had lived for two years after their treatment,” said Dr Jackson Orem the executive Director Uganda Cancer Institute.
According to the report, it costs $1350 (about Shs 5 million) to treat a child with Burkitt Lymphoma.
Dr Joyce Kambugu Balagadde a paediatric Oncologist, explained that many of the services at the institute for children are subsidised.
“Radiotherapy is free for children. We have a waiver system that goes up to 100% for children whose parents can not afford,” he said.
Until recently, treatment of children with cancer has been assumed to be too expensive and not cost effective.
25% of the children at the cancer institute are diagnosed with Burkitt Lymphoma, the cases have risen overtime from 512 in 2017 to 582 cases in 2018.
Uganda has been chosen to host the International Society of Paediatric Oncologists conference in 2019, that will further highlight the progress registered in managing cancer among children and new treatment over time.