Health

EXCLUSIVE: Government Finally Acquires Cancer Machine

Government has at last acquired a Cobalt 60 Teletherapy machine; 15 months after the country’s only cancer machine at the National Referral Hospital Mulago broke down.

The old cancer machine that was handling 17,000 cancer patients annually broke down on 28th March 2016. The authority ruled out reparability of the machine that was installed 22 years ago, ventured into acquisition of a new one.

According to documents seen by ChimpReports from Czech Republic and Austria’s capital Vienna where International Atomic Energy Agency is headquartered, payments and clearance of Uganda’s Cobalt-60 Teletherapy unit (TERABALT) was finalized on June 16th 2017.

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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 was purchased at 664,830 Euros and is expected to be docking at Mombasa port anytime this month.

“This is to certify that Cobalt-60 Teletherapy unit TERABALT equipment and materials destined for Uganda, are free of import taxes, fees and dues from which the International Atomic Energy Agency is exempted by virtue of the privileges and immunities accorded to it by its member states,” one the letters from IAEA written in June read.

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 needed to be built first. The government remained reluctant until last year when the old machine broke down.

The bunker construction is about to be completed and according to sources in Health Ministry, by August 2017 the machine is going to start operating. For the meantime patients who require radiotherapy treatment are being taken to Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi.

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