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Gov't releases sh30b for cancer machine bunker

By Moses Walubiri

Added 12th April 2016 04:30 PM

Tumwesige said the bunker will be complete within the next six months as government seeks to address concerns over reports last week that the country's only radiotherapy machine had broken down beyond repair.

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Health ministers and top ministry officials before the House health committee. photo Maria Wamala

Tumwesige said the bunker will be complete within the next six months as government seeks to address concerns over reports last week that the country's only radiotherapy machine had broken down beyond repair.

Minister of Health, Dr. Elioda Tumwesige has revealed that ministry of finance has approved plans to expeditiously build a bunker to house a radiotherapy machine for Mulago Cancer Institute. 

Tumwesige said the bunker will be complete within the next six months as government seeks to address concerns over reports last week that the country's only radiotherapy machine had broken down beyond repair.

"Early this morning, I had a meeting with secretary to the treasury over concerns about the radiotherapy machine. I am glad to tell you that we have been given ago ahead to expeditiously handle the process of building the bunker for the radiotherapy machine," Tuwmesige told lawmakers sitting on the Health committee earlier today.

Uganda Cancer Institute gets an estimated 44,000 new referrals a year from Uganda, as well as from neighboring countries including Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan. Around 75% of these may require radiotherapy.

 

 Heath Committee chairperson Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo stressing a point.

Radiotherapy uses radiation to target and kill cancerous cells in a specific part of the body, and can be used for many types of cancer.

Healthy cells can recover from this damage, while cancer cells cannot.

The machine at Mulago Hospital was second hand when it was donated in 1995 and has been repaired several times in the past.

The need for a bunker is informed by the hazardous nature of radioactive material which requires specialized bunkers that have to be certified by technocrats from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

 

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