The much awaited Cancer Radiotherapy Machine will arrive in the country anytime from now, one and half years since the breakdown of the only other machine.
Dr Jackson Orem said Tuesday that the Radiotherapy machine “will be arriving anytime from now since it is already at Port Malaba [Uganda-Kenya border]”.
The Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Hon. Dr. Joyce Moriku, told Parliament in June that the consignment would arrive at Mombasa on 28th July, 2017.
“Installation will then commence and is anticipated to take four to six weeks if all goes well. Following the successful installation, acceptance tests will be carried out for one week by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” said Dr. Moriku.
Speaking at the celebrations marking 50 years of existence, Dr Orem who is the director of Uganda Cancer Institute, said [UCI] is on the way of becoming the leading cancer institute in Africa.
“The cancer machine is already at Malaba and anytime from now it will be in the country.”
“We are so happy to celebrating 50 years today of dedicated service to the general public of Uganda and citizens from our neighbours,” he said.
He promised free cancer screenings every day of the week till 3rd September at the Institute.
Present at the event were; Dr. Ddungu Henry, Dr. Noleb Mugisha and Dr Marisa Mika.
Dr Orem said Uganda Cancer Institute started off as a research project at the University and today it is a National program that is autonomous.
“We encourage the herbalists to come forward to work with us so that we can scrutinize and regulate on the usage of the herbal.”
He said the amount of cancer in the villages is much greater than what in Kampala.
He said in the next 4-5 years, they want to have cancer institutes in Mbarara, Mbale and Gulu towns.
Dr Marisa, while addressing press, said Burkitts Lymphoma was among the first cancers in Uganda and it was very common among the young males.
“In 1954, over $4 million was invested into chemotherapy in Uganda. In 1967, Dr John Ziggler together some of the staff members from National Cancer Institute USA came to set up the UCI,” she explained.
Dr. Marisa observed that research should be at the forefront in the fight against cancer.
“That is why our motto is research is our resource. When we make an investment in an area, that investment should be followed up by intensive knowledge generation through research.”
Dr Mugisha, on his part, said cancer of the cervix is the commonest cancer in women.
“We encourage all women to come for screening of cervical cancer.”
President General Idi Amin gave Uganda Cancer Institute its first ever X-ray machine and would in most cases bring in experts to visit the Institute so as to improve service delivery.