EXCLUSIVE: Unveiling of New Cancer Machine Postponed

Jackson Oryem, Managing Director of Uganda Cancer Institute

The official unveiling of the new machine for treating cancer that was supposed to happen today Tuesday has been postponed.

According to sources at the Health Ministry, the formal opening of the Cobalt 60 Teletherapy by Minster Jane Ruth Acheng has been pushed to Wednesday (Tomorrow).

“The unveiling of the (cancer) machine isn’t taking place tomorrow (Tuesday). It’s postponed to Wednesday morning,” a source at Health Ministry who asked not to be named told our reporter on Monday night.

The documents exclusively obtained by this website from the manufacturing country, Czech Republic and Austria’s capital Vienna where the International Atomic Energy Agency is headquartered, indicate that payments and clearance of Uganda’s Cobalt-60 Teletherapy unit (TERABALT) was finalized on June 16, 2017.

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

The machine cost is Euro 664,830 but half of the payment was offered by the IAEA and the government of Uganda footed the remaining half.

“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 reads in part.

IAEA made the offer 11 years ago but the government didn’t have the Shs 30bn readily available to construct the bunker to house the machine.

The government remained reluctant until 28 March 2016 when the only cancer machine at the national referral hospital, broke down.

Two weeks later, in April Ministry of Finance released the full amount for the building of the bunker.


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