Meet the mobile mammography van helping fight cancer in Uganda

Providing free cancer screening services, the van is expected so help save thousands of lives.

The mobile fan is carrying out mammography exams free of charge at people’s homes, reducing the burden of having to travel to hospital for many cancer survivors. A welcomed intervention, the presence of the van is expected to save the lives of thousands of Ugandan women by affording them early cancer detection support. Breast cancer is Uganda’s second most common cancer after cervical cancer. The van is also radiation-proof, meaning those around it are protected from the possible harmful radiation effects. Since the introduction of the project, about 500 cancer cases have been diagnosed. The van is said to also be fitted with much of what is needed to also screen for cervical and prostate cancers.

"Through screening services, we want to reach more women and diagnose the cancer in early stages to be able to provide curative breast cancer treatment. The Uganda Cancer Institute has a static screening clinic and this van will add to our outreach services" said Hon. Sarah Opendi, the Minister for Health in charge of General Duties when the van was handed over to the Uganda Cancer Institute back in 2018 following a donation by the SAMTA Foundation. She added "The mobile mammography van will enable us to reach more people and provide screening and early diagnosis services to the population". According to the WHO, the country reported 32,617 new cases and 21,829 cancer-related deaths in 2018.