80pc of cancer patients seek treatment in late stage- Report  

A report released by Tanzania Comprehensive Cancer Project (TCCP) shows that only few people are aware of the ailment while 80 per cent seek treatment while the disease has reached an advanced stage.

A Lecturer at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS) who is also TCCP project consultant Prof Twalib Ngoma  made the revelation recently in Mwanza during a workshop aimed at disseminating information of the research findings to medical doctors from all councils in Mwanza Region.

He said the research funded by the Aga Khan Foundation was conducted for 90 days from April 2021 and interviewed 450 people from 99 health facilities in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam.

Dr Ngoma said according to the findings between 80 and 90 per cent of patients go to the hospital while the disease has advanced.

He said that the Aga Khan Hospital tasked them to find data at the levels of households and health centers, design and conduct basic research, assess the capacity of health centers in relation to infrastructure and equipment used for provision of cancer services according to a designated station.

He said another objective was to assess the level of knowledge, attitude and practices of staff in relation to the provision of cancer services, effectiveness of the referral system process for cancer-related services, among health centers and between community and health centres.

The study also revealed that there is a limited number of health personnel to attend cancer patients.

Dr Ngoma said that lack of awareness about the disease has made most patients fail to undergo screening and diagnosis as a result the disease reached stages which are difficult to be treated.

“When the disease is diagnosed in the first and second stage, the patient recovers easily after getting treatment,” said Prof Ngoma.

TCCP Project Manager from the Aga Khan Hospital, Dr Harrison Chuwa said the foundation provided 13.5 million Euros for the project as an effort to address the problem which has been affecting people within and outside the country.

He said the goal of the project is to improve infrastructure, build the capacity of service delivery institutions, involve the community and conduct research.

Mwanza Regional Medical Officer Dr Thomas Rutachunzibwa expressed gratitude for the findings saying it will help to find a solution to the problem.

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