The Installation of First-Ever Linear Accelerator (LINAC) Machine in Africa Kicks off AT Uganda Cancer Institute UCI
By Adiga Julius
The Uganda Cancer Institute Management has flagged off the installation of the Linear Accelerator (LINAC) Machine, the first of its kind in Africa.
The Machine which has been purchased by the Government of Uganda at 3.2 million US dollars is an addition to two other Cobalt -60 Radiotherapy Machines that are used for treatment in cancer.
The Executive director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr. Jackson Orem said as the Institute progresses in cancer treatment, acquiring of top-notch treatment machines like the Linac accelerator, will see an increase in survival rates of cancer patients in Uganda and East African region at large.
“Once the machine starts operation in December 2020, Cancer Treatment will greatly improve as this machine provides image-guided stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy with high precision to treat tumors and lesions in various parts of the body, including lungs, breasts, head, and neck,” Dr.Orem noted.
Many Ugandans have been yearning for this kind of treatment that they have been receiving form AghaKhan Hospital Nairobi but now the Institute has been able to acquire even a more sophisticated machine than the one in Nairobi since this TrueBeam is the first of the kind in Africa.
The machine is being installed by expert engineers from Turkey who arrived in the country over the weekend. The machine will be operated by a team of trained oncologists who have been specifically trained on this machine in Isreal.
The Executive Director further appreciated the government for enabling these engineers to come to the country and install the machine despite the COVID-19 pandemic something that indicates that the government takes cancer care very seriously.
Speaking at the handover ceremony for the installation of the machine, the leader of the team of Engineers Mr. Isaac Shashec promised to deliver work as expected on this first unique project in Africa.
Mr. Isaac said that the machine is the latest technology of its kind in Africa and the first to be installed during COVID-19 Pandemic.
According to Dr. Kavuma Awusi Principal medical physicist at UCI, the Linac machine which is expected to treat 70 patients per day, is an advanced technology compared to the cobalt- 60 radiotherapy machine with minimal side effects to the patients.
A medical linear accelerator (LINAC) is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. It delivers high-energy x-rays or electrons to the region of the patient’s tumor. These treatments can be designed in such a way that they destroy the cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. The LINAC is used to treat all body sites, using conventional techniques.