It was a late birth for the New Cancer Machine at UCI, Mulago Hospital: The Saga lasted from 2013 to 2018!
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.