On April 11th 2016, the only radiotherapy machine in Uganda broke down and the nation was assured that a new one was being purchased. The only obstacle was the absence of a bunker safe and fit for this machine that would take about 6 months to build “if things worked optimally.”
YP-CDN Uganda ran a twitter campaign in the month of October, after the 6-month timeline, aiming to raise awareness on the lack of radiotherapy and the slow progress of the construction of the said bunker; and to hold our government (Ministry of Health) accountable.
The target was the Minister of Health with the #Bunker4Mulago at 1,000 tweets weekly.
We were able to achieve the following:
- Impressions: We had over 70,000 twitter impressions in the first week, and 30,000 impressions in the second week. We reached about 1,500 tweets in the first week.
- On the sixth day, we got coverage on PowerFM Urban Edge programme and a retweet from the president’s son on the seventh day.
- On October 8th, The Daily Monitor newspaper ran a story titled, “Officials fight over cancer machine deal.” This cited some reasons for the delays in procurement.
- On October 11th, the Minister of Health made a commitment in the Daily Monitor in an article saying that the old bunker would be renovated and be ready for use by the end of December, and she explained that there was no budget for the renovation of the bunker because the available funds were returned to the consolidated funds.
- The Uganda Cancer Institute Executive Director, in an interview with PMLive Radio, affirmed this commitment.
- The World Cancer Congress also mentioned the lack of radiotherapy in Uganda.
With this new information, new groundwork and strategies for a follow-up campaign are being planned.