CANCER CARE SERVICES TO IMPROVE AS UGANDA CANCER INSTITUTE PROJECT TAKES SHAPE AT MULAGO

CONSTRUCTION OF THE RADIOTHERAPY BUNKER, SATELLITE CANCER CENTERS, REFURBISHMENT OF EXISTING STRUCTURES

By Goodluck Musinguzi

Dr Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health says Uganda Cancer Institute is set to provide high quality patient care services by establishing a center of Excellence through expansion, equipping and modernization of the existing infrastructure.

She said this after inspecting the ongoing construction works of six bunkers for cancer machines as well as office space and awards for the Uganda Cancer Institute.

“this project upon completion will go a long way in solving the big problem of congestion of patient in the wards and corridors of Uganda Cancer Institute. It will also reduce on the pressure put on the currently available equipment for chemotherapy and other cancer treatment procedures”.

Uganda Cancer Institute has a 5 year strategic plan that will increase accessibility to cancer services, establish and equip Regional Cancer Management Centers. The Institute will be a Regional Center of Excellence.

Every year Uganda adds averagely 2000 patients on those being followed already. In 2010/11 24,816 patients were being followed, 2011/12 patients increased to 26,174 , 2012/13 increased to 28,168 patients ,2013/14 increased to 30,179. Meaning we have more than 40,000 patients being followed.

Dr Diana Atwine says patients that are being diagnosed with cancer are increasing plus others from neighbouring countries.

“the equipment at the Uganda Cancer Institute is old and experiences breakdowns some of the old equipment includes a brachytherapy machine and a simulator. The institute does not have born marrow needles, x-ray films and sometimes some consumables necessary for this work to be done are not supplied by the NMS”.

However, things are going to change as we continue to modernize our health care system at National and districts. These facilities are expected to be completed by the end of this year and pleased with the steady progress.

Development of a national network for National Referral System to support Cancer Surveillance, Research and Clinical Care,Increased accommodation capacity of the Institute through the constructed of six level cancer ward and the outpatients UCI-Hutchinson cancer centre are on-going.

Civil works include construction of the radiotherapy Bunker, construction of satellite Cancer Centers, including but not limited to refurbishment of existing structures.

The Uganda Cancer project started in 2009/10 when it attained semi-autonomous status from Mulago Hospital.

This project therefore was conceived as a phased development of the existing infrastructure at UCI to eventually turn into a modern regional centre of excellence for cancer care in Africa.

Initial project work emphasized remodel-ling the then existing old structures and setting up temporary ones.

The last phase will involve setting up of regional cancer centres country-wide. In a bid to increase cancer awareness, the Institute conducts community outreach screening campaigns countrywide

About Goodluck Musinguzi

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