This page contains images related to the Uganda Cancer Institute/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Clinic in Kampala, Uganda.
For photos of the Oct. 4, 2011 groundbreaking for the Uganda Cancer Institute/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Clinic and Training Institute, please click here.
Photographs in jpeg format
Junior Kisakye, 11, of Mukono, Uganda, has Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system. He began treatment with chemotherapy at the Uganda Cancer Institute in the fall of 2011 after experiencing symptoms of fever and weakness.
Noeline Nakato is 8 and yet looks more like she is just 4. She has been diagnosed with intestinal cancer and has been a patient at the Uganda Cancer Institute since the summer of 2011. Almost three months since her treatment began, her mother, Aisha Nabukeera, worries that the chemotherapy makes her daughter lethargic and sleepy. Noeline is from Kiwangala in the Masaka district, which in central Uganda. “The greatest thing that worries my daughter about being ill is that she’s missing school,” Nabukeera said.
Esther Nakigozi, 5, has kidney cancer. She has been an inpatient at the Uganda Cancer Institute since early 2011. Her father, Vincent Ndugga, explained that his main concern is the affordability of the drugs that his daughter must take to treat her cancer. “The drugs are very expensive and sometimes a child, who wants things, doesn’t understand when her father doesn’t have money,” he said. He has land, he added, but to sell it to pay for medicine would leave him without land, destitute and the very real possibility that his child would still be ill. “Despite her serious illness,” he added, “Esther is lively and can even be stubborn.”
Daphne Ayebale, 23, works at the Masinda School of Medicine laboratory and has Kaposi sarcoma. “I had just given birth to my baby girl and my legs began to swell,” she explained. “I was so tired, I had no energy, I couldn’t even carry my baby girl, she said of her 6-month-old daughter, Ronette. Ayebale is on her third of six rounds of chemotherapy. “I feel the effects of the medicine, it makes me cold. But I also feel as though I’m getting stronger. I can cook for myself now.” Here she is shown with her husband, Godfrey Kayemba.
Isaac Muwanguzi, 8, has leukemia. When his symptoms began, he had a fever, which was misdiagnosed as malaria. He fell ill again, and he was referred to a private laboratory, where they discovered he had cancer. He was referred to the Uganda Cancer Institute, where he has been undergoing extensive tests. His mother, Annet Nalukwago, said, “I worry that he may have other cancer, and this news hasn’t really sunk in yet.”
Cynthia Nyakato, 9, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma four years ago. She has returned to Uganda Cancer Institute for another cycle of treatment. Burkitt lymphoma, both potentially fatal and disfiguring, is the most common cancer diagnosis among Ugandan children, a statistic reflected in the patient ward at the Uganda Cancer Institute. The disease is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Currently, the five-year survival rate is less than 40 percent, but it is estimated that 85 percent of these children could be cured for less than $600 per case.
Swabura Namiiro, 4, of Kampala, has leukemia. Her mother discovered her daughter was ill in July 2011. “She was bleeding from the eyes, her gums, and mouth and she became anemic,” said Rashida Lubeda, 24. She took her daughter to the general children’s ward at Mulago Hospital, where she was given blood transfusions and stayed a month while tests were done. At the Uganda Cancer Institute, where Swabura was treated, the family discovered there were many other patients with the same disease. “This gave us a sense of support and strength,” she said.
Veronica Alebo, 3, has a large, protruding tumor in her abdomen for which she is receiving chemotherapy. She has been in and out of the inpatient ward at the Uganda Cancer Institute since fall of 2010. The family hails from the eastern part of the country and her father, Benedicto Musana, explained that at times the drugs she needs for treatment are not available. The doctors are planning surgery when Veronica completes her drug regimen, but the lack of drugs is creating a delay. “I’m trying to save her life, that is why I keep bringing her back to the hospital,” Musana said, noting that his home is five to six hours away by car and the family must rely on public transportation. “Other kids say that they wish she was better so that she could attend school just like them. Other people pray for her. Maybe God will help us.”
Dr. Corey Casper, co-director of the UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance, talks with Gladys Odeke, the mother of Regina Anyakoit, 2, who has Burkitt lymphoma. Odeke brings her daughter to the UCI inpatient ward every two weeks for a new cycle of treatment. The journey from her home is a dusty, five-hour bus ride. Her mother fears difficult travel conditions take an additional toll on the little girl’s weakened system, interfering with recovery.
Swabura Namiiro is a soft-spoken four-year-old who likes to dress in pink. On an October morning, she steps into the foyer of the Uganda Cancer Institute with her mother Rashida Lubega, 24, seeking treatment for leukemia, which was diagnosed two months ago. “I was very afraid when I learned that my child had cancer,” said the little girls mother, rocking her daughter to sleep while the infusion drips into her arm.
Betty Akula’s son Allah Olgom, not pictured, is suffering from Burkitt lymphoma and unable to walk. Like many parents and patient caretakers, she stays with him while he undergoes treatment and sleeps on the floor by his crib on the inpatient ward of the Uganda Cancer Institute.
Noeline Nakato, 8, who is suffering from a cancer of the intestine, sleeps in a crib on the pediatric ward of the Uganda Cancer Institute. Patient beds are in great demand as the burden of cancer rises in Uganda. The Uganda Cancer Institute now has nearly 30,000 patients visits a year.
Belicia Nioma Okehie is 11 months old and is suffering from Burkitt lymphoma. On the day she prepares to return home after finishing another cycle of treatment, she gets a bath on the floor of the in-patient ward at the Uganda Cancer Institute.
Three pediatric cancer patients—Esther Nakigozi, 5 years old, Noeline Nakato, 8, and Isaac Muwanguzi, 8 years old, play on the walkway adjoining the toilettes to the inpatient ward where broken cribs, old mattresses and discarded medical equipment are stored.
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