MPs Welcome Cabinet Approval for 7.5 Million Euros for Omoro Cancer Center
By Adiga Julius
Members of Parliament have welcomed the cabinet’s decision to approve 7.5M euros to develop a cancer center in northern Uganda.
Cabinet recently approved governments request to borrow up to 7,500,000 Euros from UNICREDIT Bank, Austria, for the construction and equipping of an Oncology and diagnostic center in the northern region.
The facility to be built in Omoro district is one of four that has been envisaged, with the other centers to be built in Mbarara, Arua, and Mbale.
The leader of opposition in parliament of Uganda who is also Gulu Municipality Woman representative, Betty Aol Ochan said, it is a good decision but wonders why the facility has taken so long to be built yet it is badly needed.
She says, many people suffer as a result of a long-distance referral to the Uganda Cancer Institute for diagnostics and treatment, but it is also very expensive for ordinary people.
“We have many cases of cancer which is either because of the result of war or the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS in northern Uganda. If the Cancer Center was now operational, it would be serving people since it will be nearer compared to Kampala which is very far for patients.
She said if the regional cancer center is finally constructed, it will reduce the burden of long distances the people have endured.
“We want to have it; we look forward to seeing that this cancer center is built to reduce the problems of our people. If it is well facilitated to take care of cancer patients, we are for it, and we look forward to seeing it in real terms” the legislator said.
The district woman representative for Kole District (NRM) Judith Alyek also hailed the government’s effort, is making to improve health-care services in Uganda.
“Specifically I would like to thank the government for approving the loans that will come to construct a cancer unit in Omoro district; this will be a regional cancer center that will go a long way in solving challenges associated with cancer in Uganda” Alyek notes.
She said that cancer has become a big problem referring to a recent survey indicated that there is a high cancer prevalence in Uganda and not only affecting older people but also the young ones and children which is a very challenging situation.
She said much as it going to be constructed in Omoro in the northern region, it will go a long way to serve the whole country because Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) is over-congested with people traveling from very far coming to the same health facility which overwhelms health workers in the facility.
“So in this case, if cancer unit is built-in Omoro district, it will help in solving the challenge of long-distance to Mulago more especially people coming from the north that will help in addressing that problem, Hon. Alyek noted.
She explained that once the cancer unit is constructed, it will also be used to sensitize people in an effort to prevent the disease.
She advised Ugandans to avoid foods that can cause cancer cells in their bodies such as overconsumption of too much meat and oil among others that end up developing into cancer cells in the body.
Currently, all cancer cases are referred to the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala. The government also plans to build more centers in, Arua, Mbale, and Mbarara districts.
Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths, in 2018 according to world health organization (WHO)
World Health Organization (WHO) Uganda cancer burden report for 2018, there were 32, 617 cancer cases and 21, 829 total cancer deaths, with breast cancer, cervical cancer, Kaposi Sarcoma being the top cancer cases in the country.