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Insurance Company of East Africa Limited
Tel: +256 414 232337/347535

John Karionji 

Location: Ruwenzori Courts,2nd Floor, Nakasero Road, Kampala, Uganda 

Insurance Company of East Africa in drive to raise prostate cancer awareness

The Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA) in partnership with Uganda Health Promotion Initiative (UHPI) has organized a campaign to raise awareness about prostate cancer among men aged 40 years and above. 

A prostate is a male reproductive gland responsible for producing a fluid that makes up a part of semen and plays a vital function during urine control. 

Uganda is currently experiencing a burden of prostate cancer among other non-communicable diseases and this has remained the most common cancer in men. 

Despite the fact that it is a common cancer, the masses have little or no knowledge on how it presents, its management and prevention. 

In a bid to enhance health literacy among the general populace in regard to prostate cancer, ICEA has taken a lead role in an awareness campaign dubbed “Awakening Communities against Prostate Cancer with radio and television spot advertisements.

Speaking during the launch Dr. Frank Asiimwe, an urologist & fistula surgeon from Mulago National Referral & Teaching Hospital urged the government to invest in research on prostate cancer to help improve record keeping on the disease.

Terming the current statistics as wanting, Dr. Asiimwe said that most statistics that are available are in Western Africa.

“Out of every 100 men who seek prostate cancer check-up every week at the cancer institute in Mulago, about 10-15 are diagnosed with the cancer,” Asiimwe noted.

According to a study that was done in 2002 in Sub Saharan Africa, a total of 26,800 cases were recorded with Uganda coming out on top. He said the increasing number of cases at the Uganda Cancer Institute is partly attributed to ignorance about the cancer coupled with men’s poor health seeking behavior

“We hope that the campaign will shine a spotlight on the “silent Killer” as the disease is commonly known, and feed into the national debate on a health problem that should be a concern for all the men,” said John Karionji, the ICEA CEO. 

“As ICEA, we are making a huge difference by educating men about their health,” said Karionji. “The more we talk about prostate cancer and encourage screening, the more lives we can save.”

According to Dr. Asiimwe, if prostate cancer is discovered early, it can be cured. 

 “We must remain vigilant in the fight to end prostate cancer by increasing research funding, raising awareness and education, and continuing to test men with risk factors,”  added Dr. Asiimwe. “Prostate cancer is just as common as breast cancer, but the social stigmas associated with prostate health present barriers that most men simply will not conquer, alone.”

Doctors often advice a prostate cancer test as a routine part of checkups for men older than 40.

Besides age, risk factors for prostate cancer include family history, diet and weight. In its early stages, prostate cancer may not cause symptoms, making screening extremely important in detecting the disease.

“Men over the age of 40 should begin discussing prostate cancer with their physicians. Considerations should be made based on each patient’s history and risk factors. It’s important to talk with your physician to determine what is best for you,” Dr. Asiimwe said.

Symptoms of advanced prostate cancer include: trouble urinating, decreased force in the stream of urine, blood in the urine and/or semen; swelling in the legs; discomfort in the pelvic area; and bone pain.