After two-year wait, Uganda gets its new cancer machine

January 19, 2018
A new Cobalt 60 Radiotherapy Machine pictured during its installation at Mulago hospital in Kampala, Uganda on January 19, 2018

Uganda's only radiotherapy machine was officially replaced Friday, nearly two years after the previous one broke down, giving hope to cancer patients who had been denied a crucial tool against the disease.

The failure of the old machine in March 2016 caused a public outcry and was seen as symbolising the deterioration of Uganda's medical services.

Since 1995, Mulago Hospital in Kampala had become a hub for treating cancer patients across east Africa, many of them coming from countries lacking radiotherapy equipment.

On Friday, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said the new $815,000 (664,000-euro) Cobalt-60 machine, housed in a concrete bunker at the hospital, was part of a "vision of becoming the East African centre of excellence in the management of oncology."

Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which helped install the new machine, said Friday's commissioning was a "major cause of celebration".

The agency and the Ugandan government each paid half of the cost of the machine.

"In 28 countries in Africa there is no cancer machine. (Patients) cannot be diagnosed and they cannot be treated," said Amano.

Dr Jackson Orem, director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, told AFP that about 5,000 cases are referred to the institute each year.

Mugga Susan has a new tumor on her back after recovering from breast cancer at Mulago hospital and wants an appointment to use the new radiotherapy machine in Kampala

Many patients show up with cancer that is already at an advanced stage.

The new machine is capable of treating up to 120 people a day.

Explore further: Cancer care that knows no boundaries—NCCN guidelines customized for use in Africa

Related Stories

Cancer care that knows no boundaries—NCCN guidelines customized for use in Africa

November 13, 2017
The fact that you live in a particular country or community should not impact your ability to get good care for cancer.

NICE to recommend 'single dose' radiotherapy during breast surgery

July 28, 2014
In new draft guidance, The National Institute for Health and Care excellence (NICE) is set to recommend a new form of radiotherapy for people with early stage breast cancer.

Machine learning identifies breast lesions likely to become cancer

October 17, 2017
A machine learning tool can help identify which high-risk breast lesions are likely to become cancerous, according to a new study appearing online in the journal Radiology. Researchers said the technology has the potential ...

Targeted radiotherapy limits side effects of breast cancer treatment

August 2, 2017
Breast cancer patients who have radiotherapy targeted at the original tumour site experience fewer side effects five years after treatment than those who have whole breast radiotherapy, and their cancer is just as unlikely ...

Cancer patients diagnosed early are more likely to avoid chemotherapy

October 26, 2017
Cancer patients are around five times more likely to have surgery to remove their tumour, and less likely to have chemotherapy, if they are diagnosed at the earliest stage compared to the latest stage, according to new figures.

Man dies from Ebola-like Marburg virus in Uganda

October 5, 2014
A hospital technician has died of the Ebola-like Marburg virus in Kampala, the Ugandan government announced on Sunday.

Recommended for you

New drug seeks receptors in sarcoma cells, attacks tumors in animal trials

December 13, 2018
A new compound that targets a receptor within sarcoma cancer cells shrank tumors and hampered their ability to spread in mice and pigs, a study from researchers at the University of Illinois reports.

Surgery unnecessary for many prostate cancer patients

December 13, 2018
Otherwise healthy men with advanced prostate cancer may benefit greatly from surgery, but many with this diagnosis have no need for it. These conclusions were reached by researchers after following a large group of Scandinavian ...

Combining three treatment strategies may significantly improve melanoma treatment

December 12, 2018
A study by a team led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigator finds evidence that combining three advanced treatment strategies for malignant melanoma—molecular targeted therapy, immune checkpoint blockade ...

Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

December 12, 2018
A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth—this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel's Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, ...

Researchers use computer model to predict prostate cancer progression

December 12, 2018
An international team of cancer researchers from Denmark and Germany have used cancer patient data to develop a computer model that can predict the progression of prostate cancer. The model is currently being implemented ...

An integrated approach to finding new treatments for breast cancer

December 12, 2018
Unraveling the complexity of cancer biology can lead to the identification new molecules involved in breast cancer and prompt new avenues for drug development. And proteogenomics, an integrated, multipronged approach, seems ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.