Costing a million dollars, the machine is a donation from the government of India and is expected to revamp radiation treatment at the institute reducing pressure on the existing one that has been serving up to 80 patients a day.
A new Cancer machine has been officially
commissioned at Uganda Cancer Institute. The machine will enable the
institution to receive up to 30,000 cancer patients annually and run with two
cobalt 60 radiotherapy machines.
Costing a million dollars, the machine is a donation from the
government of India and is expected to revamp radiation treatment at the
institute reducing pressure on the existing one that has been serving up to 80
patients a day.
Everest Katungwensi, a Senior Radiation Therapist at the institute
said the machine will be working on about 40 patients per day and that up to
60% of people seeking treatment for cancer will need radiotherapy as one of the
This machine he said works on all the common cancers they receive
at the institute including cervical and children’s cancers.
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He said the machine has a wireless hand pendant that enables them
to perform patient set up, record and verification and treatment delivery with
fast and highly efficient workflow and that it can be tilted to all directions
depending on which type of cancer they are focusing on.
Ravi Shankar, the Indian High Commissioner said that the people of
India gave a gift of life to Ugandans considering that globally even in
countries that have advanced in technology in terms of cancer care, a lot of
people are still dying of cancer.
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Foreign Affairs Minister
Sam Kuteesa said that the gift was a promise by India Prime Minister Narendra
Damodardas Modi when he visited Uganda in 2018 and that it further seals the
relations the country has with India in terms of healthcare cooperation which
also involves training of medical workers.
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The new machine is similar to the already existing cobalt machine
only different in terms of make since the other one is Canadian made.
However, the Uganda Cancer Institute has previously suffered a
crisis when the only machine available shut down beyond repair in 2016. A new
machine was then ferried in and fees for radiotherapy services established
ranging between Shs30, 000 and Shs250, 000 depending on the kind of radiation
required. The fees, according to the cancer institute are going to be
maintained even with the new machine coming in.