Majority of Cancer Patients in Uganda Hail From Eastern Region (UCI)
By Adiga Julius
Eastern and Northern regions have the biggest number of the cancer patient’s attended to by Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), This was disclosed by Dr. Jackson Orem (UCI)s executive director, while presenting a proposal to borrow 7.5M Euros to construct oncology and diagnostic center in Northern Uganda before the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy chaired by Syda Bbumba.
According to Dr. Orem, Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) is currently attending to over 54, 000 patients consisting of both inpatients and outpatients, the number has been increasing from about 15,000 in financial year 2009/2010, a high number mainly attributed to HIV endemic, population increase, and awareness Campaigns by the (UCI) among others.
Dr. Orem stated that, from the statistics gathered by the institute, it’s clear that about 15% of the patients are from the central region, especially in towns around Kampala, with (85% )of all the patients attended to coming from other regions of the country.
120,000 patients (over 22%) hail from the Eastern region, 110,000 patients (20.4%) are from the northern region and (18.5%) of patients come from western and respectively, this implies that Eastern region has the biggest contribution towards the number attended to at the Uganda cancer institute UCI Dr. Orem noted.
He said (UCI) runs mobile clinics in Arua (North West) a cancer treatment center at Mbarara regional hospital and a cancer training and screening center at Jinja regional referral hospital for Eastern Uganda, in addition, land, has been secured for turning them into regional cancer centers, hence calling for operations in the Northern region for balanced service delivery.
He said at the moment Uganda cancer institute located in Kampala is the only facility offering comprehensive cancer services to the entire country, of the 14 regional health service delivery centers in the country, each with regional referral hospitals, do not offer extensive specialized and super-specialized cancer services.
On the proposal to borrow 7.5 million euros from the bank of Austria for the construction of cancer center in Omoro in Northern Uganda, Dr. Orem said that the overall objective of the project is to improve cancer diagnosis and treatment in Eastern and Northern Uganda, through the construction and equipping of oncology and diagnostic center.
He said the project shall contribute towards improved quality of health care delivery in Uganda by providing specialized diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients, which will include, wards, clinical rooms for patients, Procurement of the requisite medical equipment like a Computerized Tomography known as CT scans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) attendant auxiliary facilities like offices among others.
The project is estimated to cost a total of Euros 8.25 million as a soft loan of 7,500,000 from Unicredit Bank Austria with 12 years grace period, while the Government of Uganda will provide 10% counterpart funding to provide technical and administrative support to the project and payment of all taxes related to the implementation of the works and procurement of medical equipment and furniture.