Uganda will finally replaced its old and broken cancer machine with a new radiotherapy machine after receiving the new on this week, reports the Monitor.
The new machine which will start operations ‘soon’ will replace the old cobalt 60 radiotherapy machine, which broke down beyond repair on March 27, 2016 after serving the nation for more than 20 years, donated to Uganda by the Chinese authorities in 1995.
With country having only one cancer machine nearly 2,000 patients in the East African nation were left without proper treatment. Some 400 of the cancer patients were forced to travel to Nairobi, Kenya for better management of the illness according to the Daily Monitor.
“The machine is in a warehouse somewhere in Kampala, a container containing its parts will be delivered to UCI on Wednesday and installation is expected to last at least one month,” Dr Orem said.
Dr Orem also disclosed that the radioactive source, which is a sensitive component of the machine, has already arrived at Entebbe International Airport. The machine itself was shipped from Czech Republic through Mombasa port with guidance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations body that regulates use of nuclear and atomic energy.
The machine is said to have been purchased at 642,000 euros (more than Shs2.7b) by both government of Uganda and IAEA.
Procurement of the machine took long due to policy divergence and other factors like changes in the political and technical leadership at the Ministry of Health according to Dr. Orem.