The Director General of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano is in Uganda ahead of the commissioning of the new Cobalt 60 machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute, Mulago Hospital.
As part of the visit, Amano paid a courtesy call to President Museveni, at State House Entebbe.
“We don't have any hidden ambitions as far as nuclear energy is concerned. We want electricity and we are also using nuclear energy in the fight against cancer and the drive against tsetse flies.” The president noted.
The new radiotherapy machine arrived in August 2017 but only fully started work last month after the bunker to the house the machine was refurbished.
The Uganda Cancer Institute Executive Director Dr. Jackson Orem says more than 2bn shillings has been spent, but the department is still highly under-staffed.
At least 150 patients were referred to Nairobi, but it is hoped that with the Cobalt 60 radiotherapy machine in operation, this treatment can be carried out here. And now that the cobalt 6o machine has been restored the referrals will set stop.
Providing patients with the correct dose of radiation is essential to helping to treat and cure cancer. Dosimetry is the science used to determine the necessary amount of radiation to destroy the tumour cells while keeping patients safe. The IAEA supports Member States by providing dosimetry calibrations and audit services, for accurate, reliable and effective cancer treatment.