Women in rural villages of Rakai district are say they desperately need intensified localized screening of both Cervical Cancer and Breast Cancer.
Breast cancer originates from the breast tissues most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.
On the other hand Cervical Cancer of the entrance to the uterus (womb). The cervix is the narrow part of the lower uterus, often referred to as the neck of the womb. Cervical cancer occurs most commonly in women over the age of 30.
Women activists in Rakai say they want government to extend screening for both breast cancer and cervical cancer to the villages in the district saying dozens of women in these villages are dying silently without intervention.
Josephine Nalwegeya, a Rakai district activist, says they suspect many women in villages around the district are unaware of their status because they have never been screened. She names some of the most remote villages where women have never been screened as Kyebe Sub County, Kakuuto sub county, Kacheera, Kifamba and many villages in Kooki County.
Nalwegeya claims that they have found out that tens of thousands of women in these areas have never been screened because the available health centres don’t have experts. She says they want government to conduct health outreach services specifically to screen women in these areas. According to Nalwegeya, they want government to also intensify sensitization to disprove fears that cancer screening involves removal of uterus.
48-year old Rose Nakaweesi, a mother of six is a resident of Mayanja village, Kakuuto Sub County, Rakai district. She says she has never tested for both types of cancer.
According to Nakaweesi, she would be willing to be screen for cancer but says she can only afford to visit Kakuuto Health Centre IV which doesn’t conduct such services.
Veronica Namugenyi another women tells Redpepper Online, on the other hand says she screened for cervical cancer in 2012 during sensitization campaign organized in Kalisizo by Centenary Bank. Namugenyi, a teacher of Matale secondary school in Kalisizo, explains that not many women get a chance for such screening.
According to Namugenyi, apart from lack of experts in Matale village to execute cancer screening, there are no health centres in their areas. She urges government to recruit at least specialized doctors to handle those complications.
Namugenyi also says there should be more sensitization on the dangers and benefits of cancer screening because many women still fear to undress before male doctors to undergo screening
Rakai district has two hospitals identified as Rakai hospital and Kalisizo hospital. There are also several other health centres around the district. But these health facilities don’t have experts to handle cancer screening.