The Palliative Care Association of Uganda (PCAU) together with the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) awarded individuals and institutions for their role in improving cancer care and promoting palliative care amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the opening ceremony of the Conference, the co-chairperson Dr. Innocent Mutyaba noted that the previous two years since the last conference have been challenging with the COVID-19 situation but the care of patients had to continue and both organizations, UCI and PCAU continued to support care for the patients, especially during the lockdown. It was therefore of importance to recognize individuals and institutions that have greatly participated in ensuring that we continue to provide services to all patients in need.
Sr. Catherine Nakasiita Senior Nursing Officer at Kitagata General Hospital received the PCAU Individual Award. “During the covid-19 total lockdown that was there in April, patients couldn’t come to the hospital for treatment and so I used to visit them. I would send drugs using bodaboda and they would pay back the transport. A time reached when the transport costs were so high and so I wrote to PCAU for support. They heard my cry and supported me. So for the whole of the pandemic, patients in greater Bushenyi continued with palliative care services till now,” she noted after receiving her award.
The UCI Individual award was given to Mr. Matovu Wasswa who lost his wife to cancer in June 2011. “I noticed how patients suffer, not because of the inefficiency of the staff but because of inadequate supply of several things. I got very much carried away by the children because at that time, their ward was so tiny and many of them were sleeping on the veranda. I would see the caretakers going to look for food. Having noticed that my wife had gone through a similar challenge, I knew that maybe I could give in something to help the children as they are treated and my contribution was feeding,” he explained on receipt of the award.
The PCAU institutional award was given to Joy Hospice, Mbale. Upon picking the award, Dr. Janet B White the head of the Hospice commended PCAU for all the support they receive through the association especially during the time the facility was under quarantine. She also thanked the Ministry of Health for providing morphine, which provides pain relief for patients.
The UCI Institutional award went to DFCU bank. “I’m glad that you’ve given us the honor to be recognized as one of the institutions from the private sector to join this fight. I applaud the UCI ED for accepting and allowing banking institutions like DFCU whose core focus in as far as corporate social responsibility mainly looks at maternal health care.” Joseph Kasaija, the representative of the Managing Director noted.
We take this opportunity to congratulate all awardees and appreciate them for their continued support towards the development of cancer care and palliative care services in Uganda.