Monday, February 6, 2012

Government avails more cancer drugs

Press release (Uganda Media Centre) 
5th February 2012

Yesterday, Saturday the 4th of February, as Uganda joined the rest of the world to promote International World Cancer Day, the government announced it is driving the expansion of the Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago.

The government set up the Uganda Cancer Institute in 1967 in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute in the US to provide a base for clinical and investigative research for possible causes and treatment for cancer. This put Uganda in the lead in the fight against cancer in Africa.

According to Dr. Jackson Orem, the Director Uganda Cancer Institute “The government is erecting a six storied building that will house two cancer theatres, wards for the patients, Intensive Care Units and storage of tissue for research and future reference.”

A plan has also been put in place to train more oncologists and other cancer specialists to boost the current human resource. “ICU is charged with identifying the right people for training and they undergo training both here and abroad,” said Dr. Orem.

It is alarming that out of all new cancer cases diagnosed per year the majority of cases are reported too late. “The government would therefore like to remind the public that there are free cancer treatment drugs and other services at UCI Mulago that are accessible free of charge to all Ugandans.”Hon. DR. Christine Ondoa, Minister of Health said yesterday.

The institute has one of the best drugs that treats leukaemia (Glivec) in the world. There is also a provision for private cancer patients that would like to pay for their own treatment.

Orem, however warned that cancer cases are on the increase worldwide,Hon. DR. Christine Ondoa, Minister of Health called upon the public “to be vigilant about their health and report infections early for treatment. Let us create awareness, of prevention and available treatment, let us work together to reduce new infections.”

Hon. DR. Christine Ondoa, Minister of Health.

Fred Opolot
Executive Director/ Media Centre

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