Uganda Cancer Institute accuses herbalists of confusing cancer patients

The Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Hospital has accused traditional herbalists of interfering with the operations of the Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Hospital by misleading patients that Marijuana is a cure for cancer.

Uganda Cancer Institute receives over 100 patients on daily basis with majority diagnosed in the late stages of the disease.

The deputy director of the institute Dr Victoria Walusansa noted that some herbalists have been arrested for selling Marijuana to patients at Mulago.

She made the remarks during the launch of a needs survey report among health care givers in the treatment of cancer on Wednesday.

Dr. Walusansa noted that the treatment of cancer is one of the most expensive thing whereby a single dose goes for over Shs 1 million depending on the type of cancer.

"On average there is no patient that is treated with less than Shs 3 million remember 32,000 people get cancer in the country every year but only 5000 people make it to cancer institute,"she said.

She said the scramble for cancer treatment at Mulago hospital has led to traditional herbalists taking advantage of these innocent patients.

"Herbalists are taking advantage of these patients and some of them are actually not even registered herbalists.  They tell patients that they have herbs which can cure cancer and others diseases,"she noted.

She said this has made some patients to move away from the hospital at the time when they are ready to treat them.

"Some patients have been lured into taking marijuana making them go off treatment. This is something the National Drug Authority needs to control because marijuana has been banned from this country,"she said.

She said though some herbalists have been arrested in connection with selling marijuana to patients at the hospital , government needs to restrict all adverts on radio and television stations which have greatly contributed to the effect.

Dr. Amos Mwaka , a senior lecture in the department of Medicine said health reports have shown that various cancers are acquired due to a person's health lifestyle.


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