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UCI seeks sh284 billion to set up East African referral

Dr. Jackson Orem Executive Director Uganda Cancer Institute looks on as the Radiotherapy machine is offloaded from a truck at Mulago. The focus now is on an East African centre of excellence. PHOTO UCI

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The proposed East African Centre of Excellence to be set up in Uganda will only come into reality after the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) secures at least Shillings 284 billion.

The East African Health Sectoral Council resolved in 2015 in Arusha, Tanzania that the facility they dubbed the East African Centre of Excellence be set up at Mulago to start operating as a referral hospital for the entire East African Community.

The center for excellence will handle patients from the region. It is also expected to lead research in cancer and train oncologists from around the region. Other East African countries cater for different other health specialties.

Kenya is for specialized treatment in Kidney diseases, the center for cardiology is located in Tanzania while that for vaccination technologies is based in Rwanda. Burundi is the home for the center of excellence in Nutritional Sciences.

Doctors at UCI say following the elevation of the facility, they have been concentrating on developing human resource but decided to start constructing the center of Excellency.

Dr. Jackson Orem, the UCI Executive Director, says according to their estimates they need about Shillings 140 billion.

Dr. Orem says the remaining money Shillings 144 billion is budgeted for the construction of regional cancer support centers across the country.

The four regional centers will be located in Mbale, Mbarara, Arua and Gulu districts. According to UCI, the number of patients from the region treated at UCI has increased.

Currently, the figure stands at 19 percent of the total number of patients compared to five years ago when it stood at 9 percent. Most of the patients come from South Sudan, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, DRC and Tanzania.

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