Lacor Hospital in Gulu has shut down the only clinic that offers treatment to cancer patients in the entire region. Dr. Cyprian Opira, the hospital Executive Director, explains that the management of the hospital was forced to shut down the cancer treatment center because of a technical breakdown in the therapy unit.
The lives of several cancer patients in Northern Uganda are at stake following the closure of the only treatment center in the region.
Lacor Hospital in Gulu has shut down the only clinic that offers treatment to cancer patients in the entire region.
Dr. Cyprian Opira, the Executive Director of St. Mary’s Lacor Hospital, explains that the management of the hospital was forced to shut down the cancer treatment center because of a technical breakdown in the therapy unit.
Dr. Opira explains that the closure has affected several patients since the unit used to handle more than forty cancer patients in a day. He says the common cancers that the unit used to handle include cancer of the liver, breast, cervix, kidney and HIV/AIDS related tumors. He says the hospital now only diagnoses and refers patients to the National Cancer Institute in Mulago for treatment. He however says most of those referred fail to travel because of the costs involved.
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Dr. Opira says the hospital hopes that the Ministry of Health will come to the rescue of the cancer patients by setting up another cancer clinic in the region. By Monday afternoon, the cancer clinic at the hospital was deserted with just a few patients who are undergoing palliative care.
The hospital administration, however, says they can now only treat kaposi sarcoma because of the availability of anti-retroviral therapy which is used for its treatment. Kaposi sarcoma (KS) is a cancer that develops from the cells that line lymph or blood vessels and it is common among people living with HIV/Aids.
According to estimates from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), there were 12.7 million new cancer cases in 2008 worldwide, of which 7.1 million occurred in developing countries including Uganda.
ministry of health