Gone are the days when Ugandans are going to have to wait for weeks for blood samples to be taken and tested on foreign land for blood cancers and complex hepatitis B.
The new and modern blood cancer and Hepatitis B testing laboratory equipments launched today at the national health laboratories in Butabika by the health minister Jane Aceng can do more that 3000 sample tests a day compared to the old testing equipments which would not even manage to test more than 500 samples a day.
Speaking at the launch of the equipments, the health minister and the permanent secretary Dr. Diana Atwiine refer to this as a mile stone to uganda’s health system. Adding that chances of having qualified results for blood cancers and Hepatitis are now more than 95%.
This now means that diagnosis made will also save the country from wasting drugs on wrong treatment.
Aceng decries the increasing incidences of cancer which don’t match the diagnosis capacity, which the minister says is still very low.
She further confirms that Uganda cancer institute is set to become a centre of excellence in cancer management, research and training in the whole of east Africa. “So establishing this high-tech reference laboratory provides the country the opportunity to diagnose cancer early and accurately and also accelerates the country’s agenda of building the centre of excellence.
Meanwhile, the executive director, Uganda cancer institute, Dr. Jackson Orem says, the new Flow cytometry machine can detect certain cells and give an idea of the origin of the cell. He then says, if its an abnormal cell, it can tell the linage for differentiation by the health expert.
Orem says they have been finding difficulties in detecting cancers using microscope, but with the coming of this machine and technology they are going to find work very easy.
“Because of lack of diagnosis, we have not been very accurate in establishing incidences of blood cancers.” And with this they are going to improve on that.
In the past, blood cancer has been ranking 3rd and 4th in the order of incidents in the country, but with such capacities, they will have to redefine the level and rankings in the country.
Experts say, their main concern is children since they see 500 to 700 new cases of cancers in children with all these, blood cancer which are curable if detected and treated early.