By Ronald Kabuye
There is a high and increasing prevalence of Cancers of the cervix, prostrate and breast Cancers taking lead.
According to the statistics in 2017 report, 30,000 were registered as new cases of cancers out of which 80% die due to late detection yet the cancer increases 7-11% annually.
Only 5,060 new patients were registered at the Uganda cancer institute UCI out of which 10% were children that’s 450 children.
Howeveer the good news is most of their cancers in children are curable.
According to the executive director of Uganda Cancer institute Mulago Dr. Jackson Oryem said eversince the commissioning of the Cobalt 60 radiotherapy machine in January this year, it attends to150 patients per day which has led to the cost saving of 15.7 billions shillings.
He also revealed that in order to decentralise the service the two cobalt radiotherapy machine donated by Indian government will be put in Mbarara and Gulu respectively. Soon they will also open up other regional centres in Mbale and Arua districts and expand the registry in Gulu, Mayuge and kampala to Atleast cater for 9% of the total population.
In order to improve the services further 90% of the construction of the 6 new bunkers at Mulago are complete, UCI is also training over 185 human resource in cancer management both in and outside Uganda this in addition to plans to start using nuclear medicine.
According to the head of research at the UCI Dr. Nixon Niyonzima some of challenge they face include high Patient burden which leaves at least 60% of the patients not admitted at UCI, staffing both in quality and quantity to the extent that the country has only 14 specialized doctors accounting for 1:2.5 million ratio, inadequate infrastructure and equipment and financing and budgetory constraints.
Meanwhile the Ministry of health permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine appealed to the public to change their life style like to reduce on alcohol, stop smoking, eat the traditional foods that don’t contain alota of fats and embace regular check ups since cancer is preventable once detected early.
This all was revealed at monthly media break fast meeting organized by ministry of health.
By Ronald Kabuye