KAMPALA – The Uganda Cancer Institute has promised to treat more patients after receiving another cobalt machine.
The Bhabhatron II Radiotherapy Cancer Treatment Machine, which was installed at the facility on Thursday, February 13, 2020, is a donation by the government of India. The machine is similar to the existing cobalt machine at the facility.
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Everest Katungwensi, a Senior Radiation Therapist, said the machine will be to work on all common cancers, including cervical and children’s cancers.
He said it has the capacity to work on about 40 patients per day. He said the machine uses sophisticated technology that can be tilted to all directions of a person’s body depending on which type of cancer they are focusing on.
Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa said that the machine had been promised by India Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi when he visited Uganda in 2018. He said the donation further seals the relations the country has with India in terms of healthcare cooperation which also involves the training of medical workers.
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.
In Uganda, Cancer accounts for 353 deaths annually and the most common cancers are; Cervical Cancer among females and Prostate Cancer among Males.
The number of childhood cancer cases is also growing with about 450 (9%) of the estimated 4,800 new cases of cancer among children under 15 years old in Uganda annually.