Health

Cancer Machine Finally Arrives in Mulago

The truck carrying the new cancer machine arrives at Mulago Hospital
The truck carrying the new cancer machine arrives at Mulago Hospital

The newly acquired cancer machine at last arrived at Mulago Referral Hospital at 5:48pm on Wednesday.

Eight hours earlier, journalists had converged at the Radiotherapy Department to witness the official unveiling of the Cobalt-60 Teletherapy unit (TERABALT) following invitations from Ministry of Health, Uganda Media Centre and Uganda Cancer Institute.

The reporters however, were to be told by the Executive Director of Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr. Jackson Orem that some “steps” were not reconciled and the machine couldn’t reach Mulago as earlier arranged.

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“We are sorry to inform you that some one step was not fulfilled and we couldn’t have the machine here. The event (unveiling) has been postponed,” Dr. Orem said.

On July 1st 2017 ChimpReports broke the news that government had finally acquired the machine, 15 months after the breaking down of the singular cancer machine at the National Referral Hospital Mulago in March 2016.

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“The two units of the machine are safely here now. The bulk unit came by sea and the fragile energy source reached by air on Tuesday,” a source at Health Ministry said on Thursday night.

The payments and clearance of the new machine was finalized on June 16th 2017according to documents obtained by this website from Czech Republic where the machine is manufactured and International Atomic Energy Agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.

The machine is procured from Czech Republic’s multi technology company, UJP Praha that majorly deals in medical, nuclear and industrial machineries.

The whole unit according to one of the documents was purchased at Euro 664,830.00 between May and June and it arrived at Mombasa port last month.

This website understands that IAEA offered half of the funds to purchase the machine and the government topped the remaining balance.

The machine was supposed to be bought in 2006 when IAEA made the offer but the Shs 30bn bunker to house it was supposed to be built first. The government remained reluctant until last year when the old machine broke down.

The bunker construction has been completed and according to sources in Health Ministry, installation and testing of the machine is going to start this very month.

The old cancer machine that was handling 17,000 cancer patients annually broke down on 28th March 2016. The authority ruled out any chances of repairing the machine that was installed 22 years ago, and only decided to take a lengthy path of acquiring a new machine.

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