NTV Uganda yesterday handed over a waiting shed to the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) at Mulago National Referral Hospital in memory of Rosemary Nankabirwa, a news anchor at NTV who lost the battle to Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma (ACC) cancer one year ago.
In April 2015, NTV championed a fundraising drive for Rosemary to get specialized treatment at Aga Khan Hospital Nairobi who at the time had been receiving treatment at Mulago National Referral Hospital. Sadly, Rosemary passed on shortly after arriving at Aga Khan Hospital Nairobi.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, NTV’s Managing Director, Aggie Asiimwe Konde said, “The cancer plight in this country is very real. Over the years, we have seen an increase in the number of people diagnosed with cancer as compared to 50 years ago. This was brought even closer to home when one of our former distinguished news casters, Rosemary, was diagnosed. We felt the need to support her and her family by easing the financial burden that they had to bear.”
“We collected UGX134, 501,252 of which UGX69, 649,354 went towards medical expenses and funeral arrangements. We wanted to put the rest of the money towards a cancer cause. The Uganda Cancer Institute told us they needed a waiting shed as an immediate outstanding need. The balance; UGX 64,851,898 was used to construct the waiting shed which we are handing over today. We thank all those who contributed and participated in the different fundraising initiatives,” Ms. Konde added.
“Mulago Hospital receives several patients from all over the country and outside of Uganda who have been diagnosed with cancer and are seeking treatment. While these patients are receiving treatment, their caregivers and loved ones have to wait. We did not have sufficient facilities to comfortably accommodate them, “said Dr. Jackson Orem, a director at Uganda Cancer Institute.
Dr. Orem further said that they were grateful when NTV approached them with the idea of supporting UCI. “We agreed to provide NTV with land on which to construct the shed here which they agreed to, “he said.
NTV constructed the shed and has it in plan to fit it with amenities such as TVs to make the patients and caregivers more comfortable despite their trying circumstances. The shed will be named “The Cancer Institute shed” In memory of Rosemary Nankabirwa.
Uganda Cancer Institute receives 22,000 new cancer cases annually. Of these, 20,000 die within a year.
“This shed was constructed with the aim of making a positive contribution to society as well as honoring Rosemary’s memory. At NTV, we believe in being responsive and caring. We were humbled by the response that we received from the public under the #HELPROSEMARYNANKABIRWABEATCANCER campaign. We cannot forget to appreciate her family for their invaluable support in working with us to realize this dream despite their grief which is inconceivable.” Ms. Konde said.
“The gap that Rosemary left in our family is felt in every moment. We hope that through this shed, her memory will live on and that the shed will provide comfort and ease the lives of those in this establishment battling the disease, said Ms. Rebecca Kibirige, Rosemary Nankabirwa’s mother.
Adrenal cortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare one caused by a cancerous growth in the adrenal cortex, which is the outer layer of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands lie on top of the kidneys. They play an important role in the endocrine system, which is the system that produces and regulates hormones. ACC is also known as adrenocortical carcinoma.
Uganda Cancer Institute says ACC is very rare, about one case is recorded every year. It is only curable when caught in stage 1.