Uganda has announced that due to the upsurge of cancer infections, the country plans on decentralizing cancer health care.
“It is estimated that for every 100 new cases diagnosed, 80 of them die majorly because they come to our health facilities late,” the statement said. “This is mainly due to lack of access to cancer services within proximity of the population,” it added.
Figures from UCI revealed that every year over 7,000 cases are registered at the Institute. The most common cancers include breast and cervical cancers among women, leukemia and lymphomas among children, prostate among men, and Kaposi’s sarcoma among men and women combined.
According to the ministry, several cancer services are decentralized, at least up to the regional level, to address the situation.
Currently, in northern Uganda, a cancer facility is under construction to attend to the needs and treatment of cancer patients. The center is also meant to raise cancer awareness among the public and carry out research.
The ministry said services would soon be extended to Mbarara, which serves western Uganda, Arua, which serves northwestern Uganda, and Mbale, which serves the eastern part of the country.
It is worth mentioning that the East Africa Oncology Center of Excellence is also under construction thanks to the efforts of the UCI which is also geared towards increasing cancer care, training, and research in the region.
Over 198 cancer experts are currently undergoing training in different fields to diagnose and manage cancer and undertaking cutting-edge cancer research and offering training in cancer throughout Uganda.
In collaboration with the African Development Bank, UCI is constructing a National Reference Laboratory for Cancer, which will improve cancer diagnosis and other non-communicable diseases.
It should be noted that the government has also stocked a wide variety of the various cancer treatment drugs and machines at UCI as it strives to fight cancer.