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Radiotherapy bunker to be completed this month

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 3rd April 2017 10:22 AM

The bunker is expected to house the new radiotherapy machine. The old radiotherapy machine which was treating 16,000 cancer patients every year broke down last year.

Radiotherapy bunker to be completed this month

The Kenyan high commissioner and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Uganda Maj. Gen (Rtd) Geoffrey Okanga(L) Chairman Megha Industries Dr Shiraz Meghani ,Ambassador /Director Regional Affairs Rossette Nyirinkindi and Rwandan Ambassador Frank Mugambage handing over a sh185m dummy cheque to the executive director of Uganda Cancer Institute Dr Jackson Orem.Photo by VIOLET NABATANZI

The bunker is expected to house the new radiotherapy machine. The old radiotherapy machine which was treating 16,000 cancer patients every year broke down last year.

The renovation exercise of the old radiotherapy bunker at Mulago National Referral hospital is to be completed this month the executive director of Uganda Cancer Institute Dr Jackson Orem has disclosed.

The bunker is expected to house the new radiotherapy machine. The old radiotherapy machine which was treating 16,000 cancer patients every year broke down last year.

Speaking while receiving the sh185m raised during the second annual diplomatic black tie dinner which took place last year, Orem said the renovation exercise is at 85% and by the second week of April the site will be handed over to the UCI.

'Towards the end of April , we expect that the shipment for the new machine and the installation of the machine will start in May adding that  by June the commissioning  of the radiotherapy machine will take place.

He also said that the construction works of the new bunkers is going on well and expected to be finalised in May.

The new bunkers will house two brachytherapy machines and four linear accelerator machines.

The linear accelerator is used to treat all parts of the organs of the body. It delivers high-energy x-rays to the region of the patient's tumor, while Brachytherapy is one type of radiation therapy used to treat cancer. The construction of the Bunker is funded by government at a cost of sh25bn.

Annually UCI treats 27,100 cancer cases of which 60,000 are new cases and 78 percent of newly diagnosed cancer patients die by the end of one year.

Meanwhile Orem said that they are planning to use the money got from annual diplomatic black tie dinner to put a structure which will be used for early cancer diagnosis. He revealed that at the moment they lack enough space for carrying out screening programs.

He added that in Uganda out of 100 cancer patients diagnosed with cancer 80 of them die of the condition.

The Kenyan high commissioner and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Uganda Maj. Gen (Rtd) Geoffrey Okanga wondered why there are increased cases of cancers and yet of late the incidents of cancer were very low.

'All the time we hear of cancer , that was not there before, is it the diet or life style but even children have cancer , a child of 5 hasn't smoked , there must be something else other than life style ,' he said.

During the dinner which took place last year, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta raised sh67m while President Yoweri Museveni contributed sh100m. The diplomats with the business community contributed sh18m

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