Code Pink

Based on a work at

Cancer is the epidemic of modern times. Unlike other diseases that have plagued people throughout history such as tuberculosis and polio, we haven’t yet discovered a vaccine against it. One of the most common manifestations of this disease is breast cancer, which affects not only one in eight women, but also thousands of men in the United States. In fact, only lung cancer is more destructive. And if someone you love gets breast cancer, it will cost more than just their health: treatment typically costs between $50,000 and $100,000, the latter of which is more than twice the annual median U.S. income. Early detection is the key to surviving breast cancer, so share this graphic with people you love to help them learn stuff about beating cancer before it has a chance.

Click on the image below to see the full infographic.

Suubi Trust Annual Returns

Since it was registered on July 2nd 2007, Suubi Trust has raised just over £200,000 to help support the work of International Medical Foundation, an NGO providing healthcare services to the financially disadvantaged in Uganda.

Our key focus at this time is raising funds to build a maternity theatre at Charis Health Centre in Lira, Northern Uganda. This is an essential project that will provide a facility from which local women will be able to access safe maternal delivery services and emergency obstetrics as required. Building works are underway; you can watch progress by clicking on the image below.

Week 07 of the Theatre Build, click on image to see more in this album.

We continue to provide funding to support treatment of cancer patients on the charity “Hope Ward” at International Hospital Kampala (IHK), Uganda. These funds help to ensure that such care and treatment is accessible to those that otherwise could not afford it.

Most of the funds raised by Suubi Trust come from individual supporters.

We are grateful to Richard and Pat who have led the fund raising for the theatre build in Lira. Rose and Becci helped to get this fund started.

Alison, her family and friends, including Helen, continue to support the work in Namuwongo that Alison was involved with during her time there as a VSO volunteer.

Kate and Caroline, to name just two, are keen supporters of the Cancer Care fund and are amongst the first to use standing orders and Give As You Earn.

Jamie, Louise, Emily, Sean and Rose helped to raise funds using Justgiving pages.

Our thanks also to church members in Hazlemere and Menorca.

All money raised by Suubi Trust is used to support the work of International Medical Foundation in Uganda. Our Trustees are volunteers and do not charge for any services or expenses. The only administration costs covered by the funds raised, and the associated gift aid, are bank charges and the cost of having the online giving facility at Justgiving.

You can review our accounts and annual returns on the Charity Commission website by clicking on the image below.


Thank you all for your kind and generous support and we wish you all a great 2012.

A Case of Cervical Cancer

By Jemimah Kiboss:

A few weeks ago a relatively young lady (Rose*) walked into my office looking ten years older than she actually was. She came looking for help for her mother with an ultrasound scan report indicating that her mother had a mass in her cervix and another mass nearby as well as a collection of fluids in her abdomen. She told me a horrifying story of a woman in excruciating pain and health workers who could not do much for her because specialists at a certain facility were engaged in an exercise that could not afford them time to attend to this patient.

When I discussed these reports with our specialist gynaecologist and oncologist they suspected that the lady had advanced cancer of the cervix. The Hope Ward team reviewed the case and agreed that there would be no added value in admitting this lady to Hope Ward. She was probably receiving all the care she could at this alternative hospital because she already had a visit from a palliative care nurse and a supply of morphine.

When we broke this news to Rose she could understand the logic behind the situation but pleaded with us to admit her mother. She said that her mother was tired of being at this other facility and had asked them to take her home to die. Her sisters had sent her to Hope Ward in hope that we would admit her and provide better care. Unfortunately at this time the ward was fully occupied. She begged us to admit her mother and at least even provide space for her to sleep on the floor but this was against hospital policy.

After many hours of discussion with this lady, the oncologist agreed to at least review her mother in the clinic and advise the family. So she was given an appointment for the following day. However Rose and her mother did not return to the clinic on the next day. Her mother’s condition worsened and she was admitted into hospital. She came back with the same request, if we could only admit her mother because she felt that she was not receiving adequate care at this other hospital; again our ward was full. We tried to explain this to Rose and she said she could understand but she just had to fight for her mother and could not bear the sight of her mother in so much pain and suffering.

Two days later I came to work early in the morning and found Rose seated on a bench at the Hope Ward balcony and her mother on the floor. She was in too much pain to sit down. Fortunately the Hope Ward team had discharged a patient the previous day, so Rose’s mother was given a bed. The challenge the Hope Ward team now faced was to stabilise the patient;

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People Reached in 2010

We recently reviewed progress for International Medical Foundation over 2010 and are pleased to note the following data:

  • 5,592 people were counselled and tested for HIV
  • 1,644 were enrolled on our treatment programmes for those living with HIV
  • 19 patients received treatment each month for Cancer
  • 9 received open heart surgery
  • 244 were admitted onto Hope Ward for surgery and complex clinical care
  • 89 received physiotherapy
  • 225 were tested for TB
  • 63 received treatment for TB
  • 5,688 local people received out-patient care in Pader
  • 3,045 had out-patient care in Lira
  • 28,818 attended preventative care presentations.

All of the above received care and treatment free of charge thanks to the generous on-going support of our sponsors.

World Cancer Day

Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world. WHO estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention.

As mentioned in the recent post by Dr. Helena, cancer is being recognised as a increasing problem in Uganda.

At International Hospital Kampala, IHK, we have a Cancer Care unit which is funded by individual donations and corporate support by IAA Healthcare.

This clinic, started in 2006, now treats up to 40 patients each week, many of whom will need to attend for treatment for about 6 months and some for as long as 2-3 years.

Over the 4 years, Dr. Helena and the IHK team have been able to develop specialised treatment, not previously available to the poor in Uganda, and as a result we are now pleased to be seeing some of our early patients coming through to remission and enjoying healthier lives.

We have plans this year to increase this work and to continue adding to the range of services available.

Thank you for your generous support.

Hope Ward Cancer Charity

By Dr. Helena Patricia Nam:

As a generalisation Ugandans still think of cancer as a death sentence. This is because of late presentation due to ignorance on the advantages of early detection, so by the time they come for treatment the cancer is already in advanced stages.

Hope Ward Cancer Unit:

Hope Ward Cancer Unit was developed in 2006 to provide a cancer service since there is only one other cancer centre in Uganda. Hope Ward Cancer Unit does not receive any government funding and therefore has to charge those who can afford to pay, but there are many cancer sufferers who cannot afford even the basic costs for treatment. It is these Ugandans for whom we are joining together to raise funds. The cancer unit is led by a London trained Consultant Oncologist, Dr. Helena Nam, and four internationally trained chemotherapy nurses. Annually, hundreds of patients can be treated with chemotherapy and surgery. Our long term goal is to build a complete cancer treatment centre including a modern radiotherapy department. The vision is a one stop cancer service with state of the art equipment and multi-professional, internationally trained staff. This model offers coordinated strategies in prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, and palliation to give hope to Uganda’s cancer sufferers, regardless of status, ethnicity, religion or age.

Anyone suffering from cancer should have access to care, compassion, dignity and respect.

You can help by donating securely online (at CAF) now,
your full donation will be used by Dr. Helena and this team
to help provide care to those suffering with cancer.

Just click here… (mark donation “cancer care fund”)

The Scale of the Problem*:

  • By 2020 cancer and other non- communicable diseases will match communicable (infectious) diseases.
  • Poverty and infection contribute to Uganda having one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world, rising annually by 3%.
  • Uganda has amongst the highest incidences of childhood cancers in the world.
  • Westernization of diet and lifestyles has led to emerging cancers with prostate and breast cancer rates increasing by 4.5 % annually.
  • HIV related cancers continue to be a vast problem
  • Absolute cancer figures are growing as Uganda’s population growth rate is the third highest in the world.

* Data taken from:

National Statistics


Donald Maxwell Parkin1,2, Sarah Nambooze2, Fred Wabwire-Mangen3 and Henry R. Wabinga, Changing
cancer incidence in Kampala, Uganda, 1991–2006, Int. J. Cancer: 126, 1187–1195 (2010) VC 2009 UICC

Hope Ward Cancer Patients

Here are four of the many patients that have been treated and cared for by the team at Hope Ward Cancer Care unit. The costs for this care have been met through your continued, generous support.

Thank you all very much.


This is “Emma” in October 2010 with his mother and Sister Aisha, chemotherapy nurse.

Emmanuel (“Emma”) is doing remarkably well – When Dr Helena returned from a trip to UK, she noticed that he had grown several centimetres and put on weight. We were all devastated when he relapsed from his leukaemia over a year ago. He was subjected to further aggressive re-induction, consolidation and now, maintenance chemotherapy. We are delighted at the latest bone marrow results this October 2010 that continue to show remission. He and especially his mother are very brave. Emma now faces a few more years of maintenance therapy.




Maria came to the Hope Ward Cancer clinic a short time ago, Dr Helena believes this young girl is one out of so few who has a disease which is potentially curable. We have started chemotherapy and hope and pray that she will have continued help to complete her treatment as she is a very bright and precious little girl, the apple of her mother’s eye.







Eva is so positive – she was one of our first patients to be treated with breast cancer that had spread to the lymph nodes in March 2006. She is still in remission and whenever she comes she wishes to say a big “thank you” for all the help the team and sponsors have given her – she says she owes her life to those who have contributed. She has now set up and runs a small shop in a village.







Margaret is a humble and gracious woman and has no support – tragically, 7 out of 8 of her children have died. She couldn’t afford treatment for a womb mass and leg swelling. We investigated her problem and are considering a combination of gynaecological, radiotherapy and systemic treatments..

Experiences of an Oncologist (cancer specialist) in Africa

By Dr. Helena Nam:

What it is like to experience cancer in Uganda? The following is an account of an average consultation in the life of an oncologist in Africa.

One evening, I was just about to leave my clinic room when I heard crying outside. I opened the door to find a young man lying, doubled up in agony. Nurses helped me to pick him up, find a bed and morphine for him. I later found out his story – he was recently married for only three months when he had been diagnosed with an advanced stomach tumour. Because he lived in the mountains, six hours east of the capital, Kampala, there was very little health care – the poor man didn’t even have paracetamol. His friends had heard of “Dr Helena” in the treatment of cancer and managed to scrape together enough money for a one way bus ticket to my clinic in Kampala. The next morning, I found him sitting up, smiling, eating breakfast. What a transformation!

The man survived many months and even went back to tending his crops. Morphine and other drugs were shuttled up and down the mountains by the local Bishop. Sadly, his new wife left him and eventually he passed away. The Bishop told me that with the pain relief, he died with peace, comfort and dignity.

I will never forget that young man. His utter helplessness highlighted the desperate plight of Ugandan cancer sufferers.  Many do not have treatment or even simple pain control for cancer, whether due to limited access, lack of funds, late presentation, superstition or ignorance. It made me wonder just how many others are crying out for help, in desperation, suffering from cancer.

Coming from a background of “number crunching” and meeting “targets” in the UK, I have had to re-evaluate what constitutes successful treatment.

Working in Uganda has transformed my perspective on results  – it isn’t necessarily about statistics or paper targets, it is about real people, about individuals and the small or large differences that you can make in that person’s life. By working hard at cancer awareness, earlier detection, provision of complex chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery and palliative support we can start to reform the face of cancer care in Uganda.

In this way, my personal experience of working in Hope Cancer clinic is meaningful. To each individual that attends, we do whatever we can to assist. Since it’s inception in 2006, hundreds of patients have been treated charitably and, yes, we are seeing survivors come through, able to live life to the full… and that makes it all worthwhile.

You can read more about the work at Hope Cancer Care Clinic by clicking here…

Click here to download the November 2010 Newsletter which has a number of patient stories and updates.

Jinja Boys Movember 2010

Jamie Simpson and his friends have raised £435 to help support the work at the Hope Ward Cancer Care unit.

Our work is only possible through the generous support of many like Jamie and the Jinja Boys, thank you all so much.

You can still add your contribution to the Jinja Boys fund by clicking on the photo and donating on their JustGiving page.

Jamie writes:

20 or so Jinja guys have all embraced movember and are growing the silliest moustaches we possibly can for the month of November in aid of raising money and awareness for prostate cancer in Uganda.

Please donate generously all donations go through Suubi Trust to Hope Ward Kampala, a charity ward set up to help cancer patients in Uganda.

You can read more about Hope Cancer Care Charity by clicking here.