The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) is to set up two cobalt 60 radiotherapy machines in Gulu and Mbarara as a way of extending services closer to the people.
The revelation was made by UCI Executive Director, Dr Jackson Orem, while addressing journalists on Monday.
Dr Orem said the two machines were donated by the Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi during his state visit to Uganda last week.
“The machines were donated by the Indian Prime Minister in part of the $5m he donated to the Cancer Institute. This will boost radiotherapy services and the process of having them will involve the Indian high Commissioners,” he said.
According to Dr Orem, the process of putting up bunkers where the machines will be housed is in progress.
The head of training and research at UCI, Dr Nixon Niyonzima, said many are unable to access the cancer services in their regions.
“Large numbers of citizens need cancer services and we as an institute are faced with high patient burden and this is because of lack of decentralization of the cancer services,” Dr Niyonzima said.
With only 20 percent being able to make it to the cancer institute, UCI further carries out community outreaches where they carry out screening with the help of the mobile mammography van.
Currently in Uganda, the cancer prevalence stands at 350 cases per 100,000 of the population compared to the last years where it was about 278 cases per 100,000 people thus, there has been an increase with about 5,000 patients diagnosed with cancer every year.
According to UCI Head of Comprehensive Community Cancer Programme Dr Noleb Mugisha, prostate, liver and gynecologic cancers are among the increasing cancers in the country.
He further attributed the 5.2 percent increase of prostate cancer to high fat diet as well as calories with less physical exercises to cut down the calories among Ugandans which is among the life time risks as well as genetic predispositions.
“For some cancers you are born with the risks of getting it and prostate cancer is one of them but you can live healthy to prevent these risks,” Dr Mugisha said.