Yesterday was supposed to be celebrated, but however, I can’t. Not honestly, not, no, not knowing that this process of procurement and knowledge of possible unnecessary demise of dozens of cancer patients, while waiting between March 2016 to January 2018 for possible treatment. It is insane.
Therefore, when I read crap like this yesterday, when the Machine was launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, I don’t celebrate:
“The Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has commissioned the new radotherapy machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute Mulago. This follows the purchase of a new radiotherapy machine after the old one crushed in April 2016. According to Dr Daniel Kanyike the head of the radiotherpay department at Mulago, 80 patients are attended to per day and they suspect the number will increase after the commissioning today” (Sudhir Byaruhanga, 19.01.2018)
Because, I have a letter dated back to IAEA from Dr. Byahagaba from 28th May 2013, where the funding of 325,297 Euros was deposited to the UniCredit Bank, Austria, Vienna on the 22nd May 2013. To start the procurement of a new Cobalt 60 Cancer Machine to Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Hospital. However, this has been lost in the story, that suddenly NRM moved swiftly in 2017 and got it ready for 2018.
It might be true that old one from 1995 – finally gave way and broke down in April 2016 before the General Election, the same fall. However, that doesn’t mean, they started procurement and facilitating the funds for a new one. They used longer time and awaited the destruction of the old one, before getting a newer model that actually worked.
They didn’t act quickly or swiftly in this affair. They moshed it together in a stew and hope to get gold, instead they are boiling bones and hope to taste the real deal. It is a mess and was a mess.
Because I still remember this:
“Cancer patients receiving radiotherapy treatment at Mulago hospital may have to wait until next year when the new cobalt 60 radiation machine will be installed, after the old one broke down three weeks ago. According to Dr Jackson Orem, the director of Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital, it may be difficult to repair the radiotherapy machine, procured in 1995, to render efficient results” (EA BIZ INFO, 08.04.2016).
Secondly, when NRM says April 2016, well, Dr. Orem speaks about three weeks before April, that means it broke down in March 2016. So the NRM cannot hold one piece of the story correct. Not even when it breaks down!
Therefore, the promise waited on results because of hardships to make a new space and have a new machine in where the old one was. The Uganda Cancer Institute had to wait and secure funding for a new one, even if they had already started procurement in 2013. Something they should have focused one, before making sure the old one crashed. This has clearly cost lives, since the Cancer patients have not been sent in drones in Kenya. They got some promises to Aga Khan in Kenya, but that was only for a few lucky ones. We can imagine how many cancer patients lost their ability for treatment between March 2016 and January 2018. It is insane, but also the structure and carelessness the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is known for.
So this has been a long await, which could have fixed before and was already in the making. Who knows why the authorities and the NRM didn’t fix it in advance, when they already paid partial payment in 2013. Years before it broke down. It is foolish and nonsense, when this is the only type of this machine in the whole Republic. Then, not being able to for-see its demise.
Well, NRM can think of this a propaganda victory, since no-one is questioning much and just is happy. The public shouldn’t be, because why didn’t they fix it earlier and made sure for a transition from one machine to another? Peace.
Let’s be honest and clear, the story of the Cobalt 60 Teletherapy Machine from the mid-90s, who was not sufficient and had not been changed within time. Was not a two-year long waiting period of nostalgia, it was mismanagement with the cost of lives and devastation. Any government caring about lives, would have planned and made sure of funding for a new one, long ahead, especially considering the last one was bought in the mid-1990s. This is the true acts of maladministration and misuse of state reserves. That is evident, and also that the Ministry of Health, who only had one these, couldn’t make sure the procurement went softly and made sure the facilities could be fixed in time to put in a new machine. Even if it matters of lives and people’s serious treatment.
Only two year?
“After almost two agonising years of waiting, cancer patients will breathe a sigh of relief after the new radiotherapy machine arrived into the country this week. It was shipped from Czech Republic through Mombasa port with guidance of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a United Nations body that regulates use of nuclear and atomic energy. Purchased at 642,000 euros (more than Shs2.7b) by both government and IAEA, the machine replaces the old cobalt 60 radiotherapy machine, which broke down beyond repair on March 27, 2016, leaving about 2,000 patients without proper treatment and some people died in the process” (Ainebyoona, 2017).
What about 2013:
Because I have a letter dated back to IAEA from Dr. Byahagaba from 28th May 2013, where the funding of 325,297 Euros was deposited to the UniCredit Bank, Austria, Vienna on the 22nd May 2013. This was funding for the purchase of Cobalt 60 Teletheraphy Machine. Therefore, the Daily Monitor or the Mulago Health Care Complex has given som wrong information.
If not the final instalment for the purchase of the machine has come in the aftermath, which is a significant sum of monies, since it is 315,000 Euros that has appeared and made sure the buying of the machine finally appeared.
This sort of acts should not let it go easily, that a state with millions of lives, that are in-charge of making sure their citizens are healthy. Only has one Cancer Machine and that one has been out of function for two years, and it took about at-least 4 years, since 2013 to be able to purchase the equipment and use it for the public benefit. Clearly, the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Isn’t worried about losing their citizens or making sure the health is in check. Surely, the do not worry, since the President sends his own kin abroad to give birth. He knows the meagre state of the facilities of where he has resided and run. He eats the reserves and leaves scraps behind. The evidence in the 4 years in the making of the Cancer Machine. It is good it is there, but the time and effort is mediocre at best. Nearly depleted and destructive, as the concern of the cancer wasn’t even there. Peace.
Ainebyoona, Mmanuel – ‘New Cancer Machine finally arrives into the Country’ (12.08.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Sigh-of-relief-as-Shs2-7b-cancer-machine-arrives/688334-4054904-vf8309/index.html