Introduction and Background:
The Oncology Department (OD) at St Francis Hospital Nsambya (Nsambya) is one of the newly established departments to address the growing need for comprehensive cancer care in the hospital and in Uganda as a country, in general.
Cancer Care Services at Nsambya Hospital, started quite early in the history of this Hospital, even though records do not clearly spell out the dates when the first patient was seen and what cancer type was first managed. Gradually, cancer patient numbers managed at Nsambya increased. In 2009, in an effort to create awareness among mothers who came to Nsambya, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology opened a Cervical Cancer Unit to carry out screening to identify women with early cancer lesions and be managed accordingly.
In the subsequent year, in June 2010, another clinic was established by the Department of Surgery with the aim of screening mothers who attended the cervical cancer screening; this time, paying special attention to breast cancer screening, too. Community outreaches have been conducted – reaching out to communities for cancer awareness and screening. Following these awareness outreaches, the Hospital considered screening for the two cancers, cervical and breast. With the increasing numbers of patients who were diagnosed with both breast and cervical cancer, the need for a Medical Oncologist was evident. In May 2011, a medical oncologist was recruited.
In the course of time, we have been supported by AISPO, Oncology for Africa, Uganda Cancer Institute, Apollo Hospital – Chennai and Cytecare Cancer Hospitals; and partnered with Hospice Uganda, Uganda Rotary Cancer Programme, Centenary Bank and Yashoda Hospitals for the development of cancer services at the hospital.
To date, the Hospital has the Rotary-Centenary Bank Cancer center that houses the oncology services at St Francis Hospital Nsambya.