The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has stepped up efforts to help Uganda enhance its cancer treatment capabilities.
The global agency announced yesterday that it had launched a new national cancer control project for Uganda, which will see among others, expansion of the country’s cancer treatment facilities and training of more personnel
This project, IAEA said in a statement, was meant to “continue the path towards stronger, more accessible cancer therapy services.”
“The newly launched project will be supporting capacity building for new staff. It will also support the introduction of new equipment – including commissioning of the linear accelerator, CT-Simulator and 3D treatment planning system – as well as the provision of retraining opportunities for existing personnel.”
Following the breakdown of Uganda’s only radiotherapy machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in 2016, IAEA supported procurement of the new Cobalt-60 machine and the commissioning of a second, which was donated by the government of India.
The agency has also procured specific equipment to allow the introduction of a brachytherapy service for patients with oesophageal cancer and, additionally, organised nine fellowships to help to develop the human resources essential to operate and maintain the new equipment properly.
The Cancer Institute at Mulago currently receives more than 5000 new cancer patients each year.
Each year, nearly 30,000 new cancer cases are reported in the country and more than 20,000 cancer-related deaths are recorded.