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Govt to establish cancer centres in Gulu and Mbale

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 5th March 2018 02:20 PM

Recently, the Government set up cancer centres at Mbarara and Arua Regional Referral hospitals as a way to put services closer to people.

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Recently, the Government set up cancer centres at Mbarara and Arua Regional Referral hospitals as a way to put services closer to people.

HEALTH

KAMPALA - In an effort to increase access to quality cancer care, the Government is to set up regional centres in Gulu and Mbale districts.

The health minister Dr Ruth Aceng said Gulu the local government had already identified land where the cancer centre will be constructed.

She added that for eastern region, plans were underway to establish a regional cancer centre centre at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital.

Recently, the Government set up cancer centres at Mbarara and Arua Regional Referral hospitals as a way to put services closer to people.

Speaking during the National Cancer Symposium at Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) recently, Aceng said, the Mbarara cancer centre was treating over 3,000 cancer patients.

She added that at Arua Hospital, cancer UCI experts were providing support to hospital staff who also give care to patients.

Cancer is one of the three commonest causes of death globally. Currently, 8.8 million deaths annually are attributable to cancer.

Recently, the executive director UCI, Dr Jackson Orem, said they treat 4,500 to 6,000 new cancer cases annually.

UCI was recently upgraded to an East African treatment reference centre, treating patients from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and DR Congo.

The 70th World Health Assembly recommended that emphasis be put on four drivers which are likely to impact on cancer mortality by 2025.

These include early diagnosis programmes for cervical, breast, colorectal and oral cancers; development of partnerships, referral networks and of centres of excellence for improving the quality of cancer diagnosis; training of health professionals at all levels of healthcare and strengthening of palliative care and promotion of cancer survivors’ follow-up and rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, UCI is to create cancer registries at Gulu Medical School and Busitema University in eastern Uganda. The registries will collect data of cancers. Uganda has been having only one cancer registry in Kampala. 

Orem said: “If we are to plan properly, we need accurate data. The more registries we have, the more coverage.’’
 

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