For once the girls were in quite a sombre mood. They were discussing the recent deaths related to cancer of both prominent and less known people.
“They used to say nobody can survive cancer but these days I see people fundraising to go for treatment abroad,” my maid said.
“Depending on how soon it is detected and how complicated it is, cancer can be treated in many cases these days,” answered her friend.
“But it is so expensive,” said my maid sceptically. “Did they say you need like a Shs 100 million?”
“That could be the average,” said her friend.
“So for most of us it just means a death sentence,” opined my maid. “We may as well lay down and die once they find you have cancer. Why waste the little money you have when you are going to die all the same? Why not keep it for your survivors?”
“But there is a way out,” argued the minister’s maid.
“Which way?” skeptically asked my girl. “Tell me how I can get a Shs100 million today if the doctor says I have cancer.”
“Maybe not today but if we got organised today, a few months from now we would be able to send you to India,” responded her friend.
“You mean in a few months you and I can put together a Shs100 million?”
“You and I and a million other Ugandans,” answered her friend.
“I know you are going to talk about the power of numbers like you always do,” interrupted my maid. “But even if a million Ugandans raise Shs100 million, divide that by a million people and you only have a Shs 100 for each!”
“But not all the one million people will get cancer,” said the minister’s maid as my girl kept quiet so her friend continued. “Suppose a million people each contribute a thousand shillings each every Sunday, like they do in church, that will be 52 billion shillings in a year, right?”
“I know there are 52 weeks in a year,” answered my girl.
“Good, so imagine the one million people who contribute Shs1, 000 per Sunday constitute an anti- club of sorts,” said her friend. “Whenever one of them gets cancer, they release money to send him or her for treatment. Even if it costs an average of a Shs100 million, they will be able to treat 520 people every year. Is that bad?”
“Really!” marvelled my girl. “But then why haven’t people thought about this before?”
“Because they are waiting for the government to help them,” said her friend. “And they will wait until they enter their graves.”
“Or maybe there is nobody to organise them,” opined my girl.
“There is always suspicion, they will say you want to steal the money if you brought the idea,” said her friend. “But again, they are willing to give money on Sunday without knowing how it is going to be spent. I wish they could give the money for cancer without expecting to benefit, just to help a Ugandan who might get cancer.”
“Maybe the money should be collected in the churches,” said my maid.
“People are bakoowu (tired) of their own fellow Ugandans,” said her friend. “I think we should go and find some muzungu who is jobless and bring him to start the cancer club, maybe people will respond because it is a muzungu.
We can offer him one percent of the money as management fees. What is one percent of Shs52 billion per year? Shs 520 million, or Shs10 million per week! I am going to tell honourable to find some jobless muzungu somewhere in Europe to come and lead us into the anti-cancer insurance club!”
I shook my head and stopped listening.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor