World cancer day is an international day marked on 4th February annually to raise awareness about cancer and encourage its prevention, detection as well as it’s treatment. WCD 2020 theme is ‘I am and I will’ which is an empowering call to action urging for personal commitment to fight against cancer. To raise awareness about cancer, SCOPH has organized three consecutive activities aiming to know more about cancer as well as payment for a cancer patient treatment, radio talk about cancer, know cancer online campaign and last of our main activities is a workshop about cancer.
Firstly, we paid for the treatment of one cancer patient by collecting funds from both medical and non medical students. Each student gave as he or she wanted. That female breast cancer patient was hospitalized at Rwanda military hospital KANOMBE and needed financial support to get her radiotherapy treatment as soon as possible. This was very challenging condition for her since she had no means to pay for herself. Through the volunteering spirit of University of Rwanda students the needed money was collected and given to that patient. We can’t find the right words to describe the overwhelming emotion felt by that woman when we gave her that money she needed for her survival. This was a successful event that we are proud of as SCOPHeros and that touched as well as impacted our lives too as public health activists.
MEDSAR took action in wellbeing of Rwandan community
Additionally, an online campaign entitled “know cancer week” took place for five days aimed to raise awareness about cancer using social Medias as well as a radio talk about cancer.The main contents of this campaign were the meaning of what is cancer, its causes or risk factors, its types, detection and treatment. Cancer is uncontrollable growth and division of abnormal cells in the body hence it’s the second common leading cause of death globally. They are risk factors that can increase a person’s chances of developing cancer including Age, Alcohol ,Chronic inflammation ,Diet Hormones , Infectious agents, Obesity, Radiation, Sunlight and Tobacco etc . Main types of cancer are lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer and liver cancer. Most common cancer symptoms are nipple discharge, inverted nipple, lumps in breast or testicles, weight loss, fever etc. There are classical types of cancer treatment often in combination either simultaneously or sequentially including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormonal treatment.
Radio Talk at RC Huye to raise awareness among Rwandan community about cancer
On top of that SCOPH organized a workshop for both medical and non medical students for them to be equipped knowledge about cancer and join their effort to fight against cancer in their own community. During the workshop we had a trainer, Dr Rwabakumba Patrick, who shared with us statistics about cancer, how to identify cancer-causing factors especially those we can control, observable symptoms, preventive measures and advice to these who live with cancer as those who have cancer. This workshop was essential and fruitful especially to medical students because they are future health care providers who will be treating cancer.
To sum up, cancer is killing many people annually and this is a very serious problem globally. Some cancers are a result of our lifestyle hence we can prevent 40% of cancers by having a good lifestyle including avoiding tobacco, obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol use and others. If you unfortunately have cancer then your perception as a cancer patient often becomes your reality. If you think ‘life is not fair’ your life won’t be fair. But if you choose to see the bright side and think positively, your fight won’t seem to be easier, but it will also inspire many others along the way in the fight against cancer.
Editor: Niyigena Eric