THIS WEEK: Radiation treatment resumes after two years halt
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Patients requiring radiotherapy can now get treatment at the Uganda Cancer Institute after the machine that had broken down in 2016 was officially replaced on Jan.19. The new machine is set to handle 80 patients a day. Speaking at the commissioning of the new machine at the Institute headquarters in Mulago, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the government had acquired the new equipment at 664,000 euros.
Yukiya Amano the Director General, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a global entity that installed the new machine said the right precautions had been taken and therefore Ugandans should be confident that they will be getting the right service. He said Ugandans should be proud of getting the cobalt machine because there are 28 countries in Africa that don’t have the machine and therefore their people can’t get such treatment.
However, when the only cobalt machine that had been procured 20 years ago broke down in 2016, the country was plunged into a crisis where some of those badly in need of radiation were referred to the AghaKhan hospital in Nairobi whereas some people who couldn’t travel succumbed to their various cancers. Now, Dr. Jackson Orem, the Institute’s Executive Director says in addition to the new machine, construction of new bunkers is taking place where other forms of radiation treatment like brachytherapy will be provided.