UGANDA—Uganda Parliament has pledged UGX 1 billion (US $ 262,486.60) to help complete the radiation centre at St. Francis Nsambya Hospital in Kampala.

This statement came as the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, launched the 2024 edition of the Annual Rotary Cancer Run at the hospital on Wednesday, April 24, 2024.

The Rotary Cancer Run will celebrate its 13th year on August 25, 2024, in the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, with the theme “Spread Magic in Every Step.”

Parliament has been a significant sponsor of the yearly event, which raises funds to help cancer efforts under the Rotary Cancer Programme.

The facility’s ability to solve cancer treatment difficulties will minimize patient expenditures and the load on public health institutions in handling the world’s second largest cause of death.

The Speaker, who inspected the cancer ward and bunker site, praised the cancer-run initiative for its humanitarian efforts and pledged to see the project through to completion on time.

Before joining Rotary, Among stated that as a people-centered Parliament, they will generously support the completion of the bunkers, and they should be able to finish it as soon as possible because once completed, it will bring a smile to Nsambya Hospital, cancer patients, all the runners, and Rotarians.

She went on to praise former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga for driving Parliament’s effort to promote cancer runs during the 10th Parliament.

Parliament’s Shs1 billion contributions alone are nearly comparable to the Shs1.1 billion raised during the 2023 cancer run, which drew 30,000 people.

On his part, Michael Niyitegeka, the chairperson of the Cancer Run 2024, noted that in 2024, Rotary Uganda hopes to collect Shs4 billion and double the number of participants to 60,000, which translates to doubling last year’s collections to UGX 4 billion (US$1.049 million), a substantial contribution towards the required UGX 13.8 billion (US$3.622 million) for the completion of the radiotherapy centre.

Dr. Andrew Ssekitooleko, Chief Executive Officer of Nsambya Hospital, also encouraged Ugandans to take up running and explained how the project has proved how the human spirit can give birth to wonderful things.

He went on to say that the hospital made no contribution to this project; instead, individuals did, and they in particular, recognized Parliament’s participation.

The Rotary Cancer Run began in 2012, and the first three runs resulted in the construction of the Rotary Centenary Bank Cancer Centre in Nsambya, as well as the Rotary Blood Bank at Mengo Hospital, with UGX 200 million (US$52,497.32) raised during the 2015 run.

The funds earned from the runs from 2016 to 2021 were utilized to fund the first phase of bunker building.

Cancer, according to the World Health Organization, is a wide category of diseases that can begin in practically any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells develop uncontrollably, cross their normal limits to invade neighboring regions of the body, and/or move to other organs.

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