KAMPALA. The Cancer Ward at St Francis Hospital in Nsambya, has received medical equipment worth Shs1.4b ($400,000), used in the treatment of cancer patients, from the Rotary club of Ssese Islands (RCKSI).
The equipment include cancer screening machines, hospital beds, stretchers, general surgical stapling instruments, anaesthesia cart, and microscopes.
Dr Edward Ddumba, the medical director at Nsambya hospital, said the new equipment it will enable them to better their services in treating cancer patients.
“We are so grateful to the Rotarians because we did not have enough equipment despite the fact that this ward receives more than 10 new cancer cases on a daily basis,” Dr Ddumba said on Tuesday while receiving the machines.
The 36-bed capacity cancer ward at the hospital was opened in 2015 with Shs1.5b funding from the Uganda Rotary Cancer Programme and its partners.
Ms Hellen Kawesa, the RCKSI president, said they decided to equip and build the capacity at Nsambya Hospital in 2015, to supplement the existing limited cancer facilities and services in the country.
“The Uganda Cancer Institute [in Mulago] has unimaginable personnel, logistical and infrastructure challenges. One physician attends to a minimum of 30 patients per day while the few pharmacists have to prepare chemotherapy for up to 100 patients,”Ms Kawesa stated.
She added: “The Nsambya Cancer Ward is therefore a welcome development in the area of cancer treatment in East Africa.”
Last year, the Uganda rotary clubs organised an annual cancer run to fundraise Shs13b to buy a linear accelerator, the latest model of the radiotherapy machine used to treat cancer patients after the break down of the latter in Mulago.
Ms Kawesa explained, that although they were not able to raise enough money from the event to buy the linear accelerator, another event would be organised this year to mobilise more money.
Although the Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago records 60,000 new cases every year, it is the only country’s cancer referral centre serving not only Ugandans but patients from as far as Burundi and Rwanda.