“Thinking about why cancer patients opt for treatment in India. Hi, my name is Tindi am a cancer survivor. First of all this is what I observed. Uganda has fewer than 10 or even less oncologists to serve a population of I think 40 million or more people. There is simply no capacity to handle cancer in Uganda. Do we even have an oncologist surgeon in Uganda? I doubt. For cancers where surgery is the first in line treatment, relying on general surgeons has its downsides. I have been to many Ugandan hospitals and the level of care alone is appalling, Ugandans die not because of Cancer but neglect and the inability to afford treatment. We also lack real economist among our leaders. if Ugandans are flocking to India for cancer care what stops government from giving tax holidays to companies to establish cancer care hospitals here in Uganda to discourage patients from going to India? India didn’t wake up one day and establish a famous cancer care, they purposely came up with policies and plans that have been building on including training doctors for the best in attitude, care and loving their jobs with a great pay too.”
Tindi posted her testimony on face book yesterday, 30th January 2016 and she honoured me as among the persons she tagged to her post. I think it is because I have known Tindi since she was a little girl and I know that she has been dealt with tough episodes in her life which she has overcome with bravery that one can only admire. She has not allowed those crappy episodes to take her down and she always bounces back beyond imagination. She is an active citizen whose contribution to the world is significant. I also think that Tindi tagged me to her testimony post because she knows me for my armchair activism through blogging. So I decided to blog her post on my “The Humanist View” blog.
To contextualise further the issue of the abysmal level of care that Uganda provides to its people who get afflicted by cancer, one will find a perspective of an oncologist of value. Here is such a perspective from Dr. Niyonzima:
“At UCI (Uganda Cancer Institute), for example, a single doctor can see as many as 50 patients a day. In Seattle, where Niyonzima did a rotation at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, he saw five to six.” Dr. Niyonzima compares UCI and cancer care in Seattle: “Here (Seattle), there’s more time. You have 45 minutes with a patient, time to read their charts. In Uganda, you don’t have that luxury. You give each patient much less time, much less attention.” Read more https://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2014/06/Ugandan-doctors-quest-to-improve-care-Africa.html
One hopes that Tindi’s testimony and of Dr. Niyonzima will at least touch you on a human level. Better still that they will provoke you to do something, whatever you can to change the status quo in Uganda for the better – at the level of policy and policy implementation for the benefit of all and not a select few.