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Uganda gets a mobile breast cancer testing machine

Monday, 7th May 2018
The fight against cancer in Uganda is set to receive a boost from the Sumta Foundation donation of a mobile mammography van, which left the Indian port of Mumbai on 6th May. The state-of-the-art breast cancer machine and associated equipment in the van, will reach Uganda in June and is destined to move to various areas of the country, helping to diagnose cancer in early stages amongst Ugandan women. The donation of this machine and its transport across the Arabian and Indian oceans, to the port of Mombasa and thence to Uganda, is due to the efforts of Hon Madhusudan Agrawal, the Honorary Consul of Uganda in Mumbai. Agrawal pursued the plea of the Rt Hon Prime Minister, Dr Rugunda, for such a mobile facility when he visited India in March 2017.

Uganda's fight against cancer is relentless as indicated by the development of the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), based in Mulago Hospital. Here the Government of Uganda has completed the construction of six radiotherapy bunkers, with two specifically for women cancers, built to the highest international standards. Top UN Atomic Energy officials visited the bunkers at construction stage and gave a nod of approval. UCI is the Centre of Excellence in Cancer Research and Care in the eastern Africa region, with a catchment area 100 million patients. These are drawn from countries surrounding Uganda including the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan as well as the East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The Centre has on average 65,000 patient days each year, making it critical that it is equipped with cancer screening technologies which can ease the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

During a recent visit of the Indian Secretary for East and Southern Africa, Dr Jackson Orem, the Director of UCI, appealed to the Indian Government to support his Institute by providing radiotherapy machines for early screening of cancers in Uganda and East Africa.

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