Capacity Building

UCS conducts needs assessment for its member organizations regarding program development through surveys on membership subscription and visit to facilities and/or project areas of its members.

UCS also conducts capacity building trainings for its members especially on NGO compliance, abstract writing and development of joint proposals.

To strengthen her capacity to lead and champion advocacy, awareness creation and other activities for cancer control, UCS focuses on;

  1. Internal capacity building for the secretariat,
  2. External capacity building focused on UCS member organizations.

Awareness Creation

UCS conducts regular update of the media on issues relating to cancer - through newspaper, radio and television. The organisation also develops and publishes on-line newsletters to reach both national and international partners and stakeholders.

UCS also coordinates outreach campaigns by member organisations at the national, sub national and at the lower local government level. This is through cancer camps, cancer exhibitions, community awareness raising sessions and visit to churches among others.

UCS does this because it seeks to have visibility of cancer as a major burden to Uganda’s economy. There is an existing gap in line with cancer awareness in Uganda. Indeed, cancer prevention and early diagnosis is better than cure. UCS does design awareness campaign to guide member organizations in implementing nationwide awareness with appropriate strategies/approaches that involve government, civil society and the general public. UCS’ approach brings on board political leaders at the highest level, religious leaders, traditional leaders and celebrities with a good reputation. The organisation and her members seek to target dispelling myths and misconceptions around cancer in the communities.

Advocacy

Given the growing burden of cancer in Uganda with existing gaps in cancer control including limited government prioritization and inadequate financing, there is need to influence decision making through advocacy for effective cancer control. Uganda being a poor country, there is a lot of competition amongst sectors for limited resources and government must make choices based on the levels of urgency and priority.

UCS is committed to ensuring that the following outcomes are realised;

  • Incremental budget allocation to cancer control activities
  • Adoption of the national cancer control policy frameworks
  • Establishment of national cancer registry
  • Establishment of regional cancer centers
  • Relevant/ specialist human resource

UCS leads actors in collaborative evidence based advocacy to ensure that government fulfills its political commitments for cancer control. The majority of the stakeholders’ clearly agree that fronting a one strong voice is needed to engage and influence government to increase prioritization on cancer control activities in the country. (Provide a link to our Advocacy Strategy).

Patient Support

UCS has within its membership, organisations that are running cancer patient hostel service. These provide accommodation, meals, psychosocial support, transport and basic first aid services among others. In a bid to sustain their operations and that of the UCS secretariat, UCS jointly mobilize resources for the respective patient support areas member organizations are engaged in e.g. counseling, palliative care, accommodation and transport.

Additionally, UCS provides leadership and participates in developing policies and/ or guidelines (e.g. minimum standards) to improve patient support and care provided by member organizations.

It also monitors implementation of a cancer survivors’ support program implemented by member organizations to help cancer survivors meaningfully reintegrate in to the community and be productive in order to fend for themselves.

Research

In its research work, UCS seeks to build partnerships with relevant actors including government, civil society and academia in order to conduct research to inform planning in the country.

UCS acknowledges that information is a resource without which it becomes challenging to make meaningful progress in cancer control. Part of the reason why there is limited advocacy around cancer is the fact that there are minimal facts providing justification for a given course of action. It must be acknowledged that a lot of progress has been made in line with fostering clinical research in Uganda to support treatment approaches with a number of ground breaking studies conducted.

However, not much epidemiological research has been done (causes, patterns and distribution of disease) to ascertain the incidence and prevalence as well as the health related costs of cancer in Uganda. Such information is vital for policy makers to justify prioritization and resource allocation for cancer. Therefore, UCS designed and is implementing a research program with a strong focus on epidemiological studies in order to generate evidence.