Residents of Kireka in Wakiso district will this month be the proud beneficiaries on free cancer awareness services, including free screening for breast cancer, by students of the Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS). Instead of the Kireka residents suffering the stress of looking for health workers, students will move and camp in Kireka to provide the services.

It is estimated that only 5% of women in Uganda get access to screening for cervical cancer, while in 2007 it was reported that cervical cancer was the leading cause of gynaecological deaths at Mulago Hospital. Estimates also show that there are only 4 cancer specialists in Uganda

The students through their Cancer Awareness Club create exposure of the cancer burden especially at the Mulago Hospital Paediatric Cancer Unit, through lobbying for funding and support to these children given that majority are from poor background. The students also fill the gap on early screening for breast and cervical cancer in women; through their monthly Medical outreaches in collaboration with the Uganda Cancer Institute on Mulago Hill near Mulago Hospital.

ÔÇ£Our July Breast and cervical cancer outreach will be in Kireka-Wakiso district where we intend to cover over 600 young women. We use young women (medical students) to health educate and encourage fellow young women to screen as early detection increases the chances of cure. The August Outreach will be in Makerere University where we intend to cover Fresh Women (new students) as well as some continuing students. This will be in line with Makerere UniversityÔÇÖs 90th Anniversary celebrationsÔÇØ, said Mr. Peter James Kitonsa the President, Makerere University Medical StudentsÔÇÖ Association.

Education, awareness and regular screening are considered as the most cost-effective preventive strategies for most cancers; especially breast and cervical cancers.

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Milly Nattimba, Communication Officer, College of Health Sciences, Tel: +256-782-549387, Email:, Web:
Mr. Peter James Kitonsa, President Makerere University Medical Students Association (MUMSA), Tel: 256-700135170, 0782-559594, Email: