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Uganda, India to jointly build cancer facility

Kampala.

Ugandans could soon stop going to India for specialised cancer treatment after President Museveni endorsed a presidential initiative to establish a cancer diagnostic, treatment and research centre.The multi-million dollar project – the first of its kind in Uganda and second in Africa after South Africa, was commissioned recently in partnership with experts from India.

The centre will comprise five floors that can facilitate at least for 80 patients and later on two more floors will be added to facilitate at least 100 in-patients.

According to Inspector General of Police General Kale Kayihura, the Ugandan government will provide land and construct the facility while the Indian partners will equip the centre with modern equipment as well as provide expertise.

“Uganda Police Force has provided land in Kololo, we are also using our construction unit to put up the facility. We anticipate that by the start of next year, the first phase of the project will have been operationalised,” he said.

Gen Kayihura said the facility will, in the second phase, be expanded into a bigger hospital to treat all the non-communicable diseases.Dr Shabeer Ahmed, a consultant Gastro Intestinal surgeon from Fortis Hospital in India said under the project, other than bringing experts from India, Ugandan doctors will also be trained in cancer diagnosis, management and treatment.The first phase of the project will cost $5 million (Shs12 billion) while the second-final phase is estimated at $100 million (Shs255 billion).

THE BACKGROUNDCurrently, there is only one cancer hospital in Uganda yet estimates indicate that only 20 per cent of the cancer patients are able to access it. At least 3,500 new cases of cancer are reported at the cancer institute every year. The UN says cancer could reach epidemic level if nothing is done.

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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