UCCF supports children with cancer undergoing care at the Uganda Cancer Institute through our major program called patients support/Smiling Toy with activities like; therapeutic play, case work counseling, care giver support and academic learning.. Annually about 700 children attend our programs that mainly focus on bringing hope and support to children battling cancer and their families.
Despite the Hospital's attempts to provide holistic care, the social oncology in Uganda Cancer institute still needs more resources to support cancer patients especially children. There is a very small budget allocated to social oncology activities in the institute to address specific needs like; follow up of children undergoing treatment, support to those from poor families with transport and nutrition among others.
Smiling Toy is one of our effective social support interventions to children undergoing treatment at the cancer Institute through which children are distracted from the pain, fear and hopelessness due to the disease. Children are also able to receive basic education and learning during their stay in the Hospital as the volunteers and social workers continue to monitor and follow those in the program. This intended to support the care givers and children complete cancer treatment.
With a well facilitated social support program, the number of children completing treatment will continue to grow, hence increased survival rates of children with cancer in Uganda. In Uganda limited awareness about childhood cancer has contributed to high death rates among children diagnosed. With the increase of number of children surviving from the disease together with good testimonies, more people will be encouraged to seek care, hence saving hundreds of children with cancer in Uganda.