Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said that equipping hospitals and laboratories with imaging and diagnostic equipment, will go a long way in helping doctors carry out proper diagnosis, save more lives and at the same time reduce money spent by Ugandans travelling abroad for medical treatment.
“Ugandans spend about US$77 million annually going abroad for treatment and yet most of this money is spent on travel and accommodation. Many Western countries have the equipment and knowledge that can help to deal with a number of diseases in Uganda and Africa,” he observed.
The President made the remarks last evening at State House, Entebbe before witnessing the signing of a grant between the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) with the Uganda Ministry of Health, to support radiotherapy-training workshops for cancer treatment professionals at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI).
The training is anticipated to expand the capacity of the Uganda Cancer Institute personnel to perform advanced radiotherapy treatment utilizing Varian’s technologies. Implementation of the modern radiotherapy technologies will increase access to potentially life-saving techniques for cancer treatment in Uganda.
“USTDA is pleased to support high quality cancer treatment in Uganda,” said the Agency’s Director, Congressional and Public Affairs, Thomas R. Hardy. “Through Varian’s expertise and cutting-edge equipment, medical professionals in Uganda will have the ability to better treat cancer,” he added.
Ronen Bechor, the President of ElsMed, the representative of Varian and Siemens in Uganda, said that his organization would invest between US$ 20-40 million to equip laboratories and imaging equipment from Siemens as well as radiation therapy systems from Varian to the regional and referral hospitals in Uganda including ongoing maintenance and service support.
President Museveni thanked the American Government for its contribution towards Uganda’s development.
Health Minister, Dr. Ruth Jane Aceng, the American Ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Deborah Malac, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary, Dr. Diana Atwiine, the Director of Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Dr. Jackson Oryem, and Varian President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Don Wilson, attended the meeting.