Milestone Near: Gulu’s Cancer Institute Nears Completion

Gulu City’s Regional Cancer Institute, a €3.5 million project funded by the Austrian government, is nearing completion, marking a significant step towards relieving the congestion at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

With Phase I construction progress reaching an estimated 90 percent, the institute is poised to provide critical cancer care services to northern Uganda and surrounding regions, including West Nile, Karamoja, and Lango. It will also cater to patients from South Sudan, Kenya, and DR Congo.

Professor William Bazeyo, chairman of the Uganda Cancer Institute board, expressed optimism during an inspection, stating that the facility should be ready for commissioning by June.

The institute’s establishment addresses a pressing need, with Uganda recording approximately 32,000 new cancer cases annually and an 80 percent mortality rate due to factors such as limited access to treatment and early screening.

Dr. Jackson Orem, executive director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, emphasized the importance of utilizing the facility, highlighting its capacity to reduce the need for patients to travel long distances to Mulago for treatment.

Since its partial operation in August 2023, over 300 patients have already received treatment at the institute, benefiting from state-of-the-art equipment including CT scans, mammograms, and X-rays.

Gulu City Council Speaker Alima Joyce commended the government for the initiative, urging citizens to take ownership of the facility to fully realize its potential in saving lives.

The regional cancer institute’s construction, commissioned in August 2021 by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, signifies a significant investment in healthcare infrastructure aimed at improving cancer care accessibility and reducing the burden on Mulago Hospital.

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