Ministry of health yesterday commissioned new cancer testing laboratory that is hoped to reduce the number of Ugandans who travel abroad to get tested for cancer especially lymphomas and leukaemia.
Minister of Health Hon Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said that the new National Home Path Flow Cytometry Laboratory will also ensure that doctors have early diagnosis and prompt results for their patients.
“The equipment has the capacity to analyse one’s blood or bone marrow cells to determine whether the high white cell count is the result of blood cancer hence giving patients early diagnosis and prompt treatment” she said.
While addressing journalists at the launch of the laboratory in Butabika, Aceng added that the equipment will also help doctors in monitoring the effectiveness of therapy.
“When the teams here analyze the samples the print outs are sent to the mails of various laboratory heads in different hospitals and then they are able to receive it in real time and take quick decisions more so when it comes to therapy if it’s working or not”.
The doctors before were using microscope’s and with them it was hard to tell the difference between a normal and abnormal cell but with the new equipment they will be able to detect the receptors on the surface of the cell and can tell because receptors are what defines normal or abnormal in a cell.
“I am reliably informed that this method detects the presence and extent of the blood cancers even minimal residual disease by this l mean the small number of cancer cells that may remain after treatment despite no evidence of disease from other testing techniques “.
The new equipment will begin working with immediate effect.
The Minister also launched the Hepatitis B viral load laboratory to strengthen the country’s response to viral hepatitis B.