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New cancer centre to minimize costs up to 60%

By Cecilia Okoth

Added 1st March 2017 10:18 AM

Speaking to the New Vision on the side-lines of the official opening of the new Centenary Bank Cancer Centre at Nsambya Hospital, Ddumba said cancer patients are mostly burdened by the accumulated costs they inquire while seeking for treatment abroad.

New cancer centre to minimize costs up to 60%

The President of Rotary Club International John Germ, his wife Judy Germ and Dr. Edward Ddumba, the Medical director at Nsambya hospital during the commissioning of Rotary Centenary Bank Cancer Centre at Nsambya hospital on February 28, 2017. Photo by Wilfred Sanya

Speaking to the New Vision on the side-lines of the official opening of the new Centenary Bank Cancer Centre at Nsambya Hospital, Ddumba said cancer patients are mostly burdened by the accumulated costs they inquire while seeking for treatment abroad.

If Nsambya hospital gets a radiotherapy machine and a bunker, it will have the capacity to treat and manage cancer patients with costs minimized up to 60%, according to Dr. Edward Ddumba, the hospital's medical director.

Speaking to the New Vision on the side-lines of the official opening of the new Centenary Bank Cancer Centre at Nsambya Hospital, Ddumba said cancer patients are mostly burdened by the accumulated costs they inquire while seeking for treatment abroad.
 
"With a radiotherapy machine and a bunker in place, a patient will only incur costs of recovery. For example when diagnosed with cervical cancer in its early stages, you would have to pay sh2m for treatment here as compared to sh10m that you would have incurred abroad," Ddumba said.

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.  

 he resident of otary lub nternational ohn erm receiving a flag from the resident of otary club of sambya ike ironde during the commissioning of otary entenary ank ancer entre at sambya hospital The President of Rotary Club International John Germ receiving a flag from the President of Rotary club of Nsambya Mike Kironde during the commissioning of Rotary Centenary Bank Cancer Centre at Nsambya hospital

 
The new Centenary Bank Cancer Centre at Nsambya Hospital is a Rotary project that was conceived by one Stephen Mwanje, a Rotarian Past District Governor and a team of dedicated friends, who reached out to Nsambya hospital to donate land for construction of this centre.

Yesterday, the Rotary International President John Germ commissioned the facility that is worth sh1.2b and equipment worth sh900m.

"There is no more rewarding experience than to see someone take proper treatment and have them healed completely from cancer," Germ said, before commending various partners for setting up the structure.

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

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 cancer centre, though currently functional, still requires a lot of work for it to perform to full capacity.

"At the moment, we can only screen and stage cancers of patients, on top of providing chemotherapy and for those that require radiotherapy, we refer to Nairobi," Ddumba stated.

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