The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon Robinah Nabbanja, has assured Members of Parliament that the planned regional cancer treatment centres will be operational by the 2025/2026 financial year, according to the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) plan.
Nabbanja was responding to a question raised during the Prime Minister’s Time during plenary sitting chaired by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, on Thursday, 22 September 2022. Kumi district woman MP, Hon. Christine Apolot, asked the Premier to inform the House on government’s undertaking to establish regional cancer centres.
The UCI plan is to set up regional cancer centres in Eastern, Northern, Western and North Western Uganda, to address the increasing cancer burden, and decongest the Uganda Cancer Institute housed at the Mulago National Referral Hospital.
Nabbanja, also the Leader of Government Business, said that the Northern Uganda Regional Cancer Centre in Gulu district is near completion and the site hand over is expected by the end of year.
“Equipment has been shipped and on-site, awaiting installation. The project for the regional centre in Gulu was approved by Parliament in 2020,” she said.
She added that feasibility studies for the Eastern and Western Uganda regional cancer centres in Mbale and Mbarara districts, respectively, have been completed.
She said concepts for both projects have been submitted to the development committee of the finance ministry.
“In the meantime, the UCI has commenced work on start-up structures in Mbale in order to have a skeleton service while awaiting a comprehensive project that will accommodate all the cancer services,” said Nabbanja.
She added that in the meantime, Mbarara has a very active cancer care service which is second only to the service to Kampala with over 3,000 patients attended to in the last financial year.
“This has been achieved using available infrastructure, equipment and human resource,” she said.
Nabbanja added that in North Western Uganda, basic cancer prevention and early detection services have been set up in Arua district with the available infrastructure and equipment, while the UCI awaits financing of the project.