The Rotary Cancer Run happens annually and this year it was quite different from the one that happens every single year at Kololo Airstrip.
Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, massive gatherings were canceled and this affected many businesses and events including the Rotary Cancer Run. This led to the adoption of the online audience and availability to organize the event where the organizers of the event advised the public to run from their homesteads announcing that there won’t be massive exercising of the prominent marathon aimed to fight against cancer.
Yesterday, the 2020 Rotary Cancer Run was hosted in Muyega where only a few invited attendees were allowed to access the premises and with officials promoting the Ministry of Health SOPs, this was where live broadcasts of the event were happening from and then shared to numerous televisions live, social media platforms and also via zoom.
Many people contributed to the run yesterday by posting videos and photos of themselves running, jogging on social media to show that besides the pandemic, they are still together in the fight against cancer. The run from Muyega was activated by Golola Moses a famous kickboxer who also ran as a sign of solidarity towards the cancer fight. He encouraged people especially ladies to go for cancer check-ups.
When the guest of honor The Rt. Honorable Speaker Rebecca Kadaga was given the chance to speak, she applauded the Rotarians for their endless efforts in fighting cancer. The speaker also said that the Rotary Cancer Run is one of those initiatives that very effectively demonstrate what can be achieved when the Public and the Private sector get together to address the challenges we have in our country. She thanked Members of the 10th Parliament for their contribution of one million Uganda shillings from each member for the last three years towards the fight against cancer.
“Cancer is not selective. Every man, woman, and child has a risk factor, a risk we have to manage through our lifestyle choices, and through the opportunity to test early. We are told that there are over 30,000 patients in Uganda that need cancer treatment and care and thousands more we may not know about,” Hon Kadaga added.
Other speeches were made by the Past District Governor Stephen Mwanje who expressed Rotary’s gratitude for the awe-inspiring support from Ugandans and people from all over the world over for running virtually.
He also said, “Unlike the other years, this year has seen us get overwhelming support from not only Uganda but the world over. We have recorded much more support from the diaspora compared to last year, attracting some of the world’s greatest commendations for this Virtual Rotary Cancer Run 2020”
This year’s run, which saw collected of beyond UGX 100 Million, attracted global endorsements from renowned athletes like Tyson Gay, Bryan Habana, and Yohan Blake whose messages emphasized the importance of exercising, staying fit and eating healthy in the fight against cancer. Among other endorsements were those from people in Canada, Egypt, Djibouti, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
According to the 2018 Globocan statistics on cancer in Uganda, compiled by the World Health Organisation, indicate that 32,617 new cancer cases were recorded. Of these, 18,068 were female while 14,569 were male. The number of cancer deaths stood at 21,829 of which 11,819 were female and 10,010 male.
The trends also observed at the Uganda Cancer Institute indicate that almost 80 per cent of patients present the disease in advanced stages, hence limited interventions to prolong survival, an indication that the level of knowledge in the public and their perception of cancer, its symptoms, where to access treatment, and the care by the general practitioners is still low.
The 9th edition of the annual Rotary Cancer Run was sponsored by the Parliament of Uganda, Centenary Bank, LycaMobile, Uganda Breweries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and supported by BBS Terefayina, Radio One, New Vision, Rwenzori Bottling Company, and Radio Simba among others,