As part of the efforts to establish Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) in Mulago as a National centre of excellence of international standard offering comprehensive cancer services, Cabinet recently approved the principles of the Uganda Cancer Institute Bill 2014.
The development that means that UCI has now become a self autonomous institute according to health experts indicates the cancer referral cases abroad are likely to reduce, especially with the establishment of Uganda cancer institute as an autonomous body by an act of Parliament mandated to undertake and coordinate cancer treatment and prevention in the country.
A source inside the cabinet that commented on condition of anonymity since all steps of the bill haven’t been finalized noted that, “The Mulago based Uganda Cancer Institute has made great strides towards the elimination of cancer in Uganda following tremendous research studies that discovered that some of the cancers can be treated and some even vaccinated.”
It is against this background that the Cabinet decided to approve the two principles of the cancer Institute Bill 2104, a development that means that an executive management committee headed by the Executive Director and deputised by the Deputy Executive director, a board will be appointed by the Minister of Health with approval from the Health Service Commission.
The development comes at a time when Nsambya hospital has already started the construction of a cancer center that is to cost approximately Shs. 1billion. This is meant to supplement the efforts of the Mulago institute.
Currently, the Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago serves Ugandans, as well as cancer patients from as far as Kenya, Eastern DRC, Congo, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Sudan among other nations.
This has posed a big challenge on the service delivery given the fact that on top of the institute being under funded, ill equipped in terms of medical equipment, it also falls short of staff to handle all these cases.
By Prisca Wanyenya for Red Pepper