Gov’t to acquire Sh 45 billion Cancer detection machine

Cancer detection machine

Cancer detection machine

The government has signed a contract to procure a Positron Emission Tomography ( PET) scan to bolster detection and treatment at the Uganda Cancer Institute.

The Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng revealed this during a special sitting of Parliament to eulogize the late speaker of parliament, Jacob Oulanyah on Tuesday.

Oulanyah succumbed to lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system on March 20, 2022, at a hospital in Seattle, the United States of America where he was admitted for specialized treatment.

The autopsy report read on the floor of parliament by Dr Aceng indicated that Oulanyah was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.

He sought treatment in various hospitals including the Uganda Cancer Institute ( UCI), Germany and Dubai.

However, the cancer advanced prompting Doctors to refer him to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where his condition deteriorated leading to his death prompting the Government to opt for the machine to scale up interventions.

Dr Aceng told the lawmakers that in the Financial Year 2022/2023, Parliament appropriated Sh 45 billion to procure the PET scan.

She revealed that on Monday the Ministry of Health signed a contract for the swift supply of the appliance.

In addition, Dr Aceng said Parliament also appropriated money for the construction of the Nuclear Medicine Unit at the Uganda Cancer Institute to reinforce cancer care and treatment similar to what the late Oulanyah sought in the USA.

Dokolo District Woman MP, Cecilia Atim Ogwal rose on the floor to amend the earlier prayers of the motion moved by the Vice President, Jessica Alupo to pay tribute to the late Oulanyah to include a requirement of the Government to urgently acquire the machine.

Dr Charles Ayume, the Koboko Municipality MP, who doubles as the Chairperson of the Health Committee of Parliament observed that the Government should equally consider funding the stocking of Regional Blood Banks following a shortage of 150,000 units of blood.

The speaker of parliament, Anita Among directed the Minister for Health to report to the House within two months on the progress of the acquisition of the PET scanner.

In 2018, available statistics indicated that up to 32,000 new cases and 21,000 deaths were caused by cancer and 56,238 people were living with cancer in Uganda.

Some of the top seven cancers in Uganda include cancer of the cervix, breast, prostate, liver and oesophageal which account for 70 per cent of new cancer cases.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide, with over 18 million new cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths estimated to have occurred in 2018.

By 2030, it is projected that there will be approximately 26 million new cancer cases and 17 million cancer deaths per year.

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