By Adolf Ayoreka
Thousands of people from Mbarara and nearby districts on Sunday morning, July 24, thronged Mbarara University of Science and Technology football pitch to take part in the Uganda Color Cancer Run in an effort to raise funds for children with cancer at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital.
The run was organised by Global Health Collaborative and Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital in partnership with Mbarara University of Science and Technology.
Dr. Steven Asiimwe, the team leader at Global Health collaborative, said they need about sh450m annually to run the paediatric cancer unit, which is still a challenge.
“We thank all those who have turned up to support the cause and intensify awareness about cancer in children. Our strategy is to raise at least $1.5m (about sh5.8b) for the next five years and we hope this is achievable,” said Asiimwe.
Dr. Barnabas Atwine, an oncologist from Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, said they have a big number of children who are on medication.
He noted that it is extremely expensive and challenging for a child to get treated for cancer.
“Some children are not fortunate enough to complete their treatment and pass on, but we still have hopes that when this awareness is much created, we shall fight this monster, cancer,” Atwine said.
Sheldon Ahumuza, one of the children who survived cancer and participated in the run, said he underwent chemotherapy and recovered.
“It was a bad experience going through the treatment for cancer, but I am thankful to God that I managed to finish my treatment and I am now fine,” he said.
Robert Kanusu, deputy resident city commissioner Mbarara City North division, who flagged off the runners, thanked the organisers for the spirit of collective responsibility to create awareness and raise funds to fight cancer among children.