Uganda Materials

The American Cancer Society and the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs partnered with the Ministry of Health, the Uganda Cancer Institute, and the Uganda Cancer Society to develop three materials:

  • Booklet for cancer patients
  • Booklet for caregivers
  • Flipchart for patient education (job aid for health providers)

The team mapped cancer support services in Uganda, took an inventory of cancer communication materials, and reviewed the literature about cancer patients' and caregivers' knowledge, attitudes, and practices. During focus groups and in-depth interviews, patients and caregivers reviewed cancer brochures prepared in Uganda and excerpts from the ACS After Diagnosis’ booklet

Results of this study found that most Ugandans fear cancer and know little about it.  Some patients believe that their cancer was caused by witchcraft or a curse in retaliation for something they have done. Many patients seek cures from traditional healers or faith-based healers before turning to the formal health system. Many patients fear biopsies, believing they are painful and will worsen their condition or even result in death. Most cancer patients are diagnosed at a very late stage and have little chance of being treated successfully; perpetuating the misconception that cancer is incurable. Even when patients have been diagnosed, they often know very little about the cause of their symptoms, the prognosis of their disease, and the treatment options available to them.

Based on these findings, the team developed content for the three materials. All materials are available in English and Luganda.

Material                                  Key Features

English (quick view)

English (download to print)

Luganda (quick view)

Luganda (download to print)


Coping with Cancer: A Booklet for Cancer Patients (44 pages)

  • Contains many illustrations of all country materials – of risk factors, treatment procedures, side effects, coping, healthy lifestyle, and more
  • Promotes cancer screening, especially for breast and cervical cancer, and gives local resources
  • Educates about local cancer risk factors, e.g., HIV infection, ‘burning buvera or breathing in diesel fumes'
  • Emphasizes the need to avoid tobacco and heavy alcohol use
  • Addresses fears about:
    • Cancer being contagious
    • Witchcraft or curses causing cancer
    • Biopsies spreading cancer or leaving a big wound
    • Getting symptoms checked by a health worker
    • Treatment and biopsies being painful
    • Pain medication causing addiction.

English (quick view)

English (download to print)

Luganda (quick view)

Luganda (download to print)

Caring for Cancer Patients: A Booklet for Caregivers of Cancer Patients (40 Pages)

  • Provides similar information to patient booklet
  • Advises on what to expect and how to cope when a loved one is facing end of life
  • Suggests ways for caregivers to take care for themselves.




English/Luganda (quick view)

English/Luganda (download to print)

Cancer Information for Patients and Their Families (Flipchart for Providers - 44 Pages)

  • A job aid for use by health workers when educating clients and their family members about cancer
  • Flipchart contains both English and Luganda translations
  • Each page has a large illustration to share with patients with talking points for the provider on the reverse
  • Contains similar information to content in booklets for patients and caregivers
  • Has a page devoted to answering this question: ‘Can Cancer Be Cured?’