September 12, 2013 supportneedylovelycentre Leave a comment Edit Key Health facts for women and young people
Irrespective of whom you are, you are very susceptible to cancer yet it is curable and preventable when detected early. Get the facts now about cancer and save someone’s life.
What is cancer?
Cancer refers to a number of various diseases that result from uncontrolled growth of a group of body cells. These cells are often never mature and so they are of no function in the body; instead they result in a swelling (tumor in medical terminology) which presses on nearby body parts. The cancer cells also infiltrate surrounding body parts; and they spread to distant body parts through blood or lymph vessels.
There are many different types of cancer but the most common include; carvix cancer, prostate cancer, kaposi sarcoma, breast cancer and live cancer.
The risk of dying from cancer in Uganda is high. Survival after diagnosis with most cancer is less than 13%Cervical cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting Ugandan women, according to the UN World Health Organization, which reports that every year, 3,577 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 2,464 die from the disease.
Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths as of 2008. Most of these deaths are from lung cancer, liver, cervical and breast cancer.
About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks. These are high blood pressure, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use and above all failure to have early screening to address the problem in the early stages.
But specialists at the Uganda Cancer Institute also blame increased deaths on the many myths and misconceptions around cancer.
Why young people, women and people with disabilities?
In Uganda, as in many parts of the world, adolescents and young people’s sexual and reproductive health is a serious issue that demands urgent attention.
According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) 2011, about 14 per cent of young women and 16 per cent of young men had their first sexual encounter before the age of 15 while 57 per cent of young women had their first encounter before the age of 18. Young people begin sex early and yet only 11% of teenagers aged 15 to 19 years use family planning methods resulting in unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortion.
The UDHS further notes that 26.4 per cent of girls aged between 15 and 19 had begun bearing children. And one in every four teenage girls between 15 and 19 was found pregnant.
Early marriage, early initiation of sex and lack of information, are the leading drivers of adolescent pregnancy.
The Population Secretariat indicates that of the 1.2 million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually, 25% of these are teenage pregnancies. The over 300,000 teenagers who get pregnant account for the bulk of unwanted pregnancies, which end up in unintended births, abortion or even death. Deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 worldwide.
In Uganda every year, 6,000 women die due to pregnancy related complications and of these about 40% are among young women aged 15 to 24. Complications of pregnancy such as obstructed labour and fistula (leakage of urine or faeces from the private parts) are five times higher among young women below 18 than those over 18.
Why investing in young people is important?
Failure to respond to the education and health needs of young people who make up a big part of Uganda’s population will increase poverty. Children born to young parents are more likely to be raised with less access to regular health care and education since most young people are not involved in any gainful economic activities.
On the other hand, investing in young people and their sexual and reproductive health can help them attain the skills they need to get employment, maximize their wealth and contribute to the development of the country.
When a girl child is educated and given correct and accurate information on reproductive health, she is in a better position to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Avoiding adolescent pregnancy has several benefits among which are good health prospects because adolescent pregnancies and early deliveries often involve complications. Similarly, if young girls do not get pregnant they are able to continue with school and participate in the labour force when they grow up thus earn income for their families and society.
Investing in the reproductive health of young people also means reduced sexually transmitted infections, lower risk of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.
In case of any queries or need to be part of this cause, please contact us at
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