Speaker leads procurement of cancer machine

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Speaker Anita Among gave directions to the Minister of Health in order to report to the House within the period of two months on the progress of the acquisition of a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that can help reveal body tissues and organs’ metabolic or biochemical functions.

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The speaker’s directive follows a motion by Dokolo District Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal to amend the prayers of the movement to pay tribute to the late Jacob Oulanyah to include a requirement for the government to develop the machine.

She further stated that the machine would work at the Uganda Cancer Institute for early detection and diagnosis of cancer.

Furthermore, Ogwal moved with the motion and presented a post marten report to the House by Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng’, which shows that Oulanyah had been suffering from cancer.

Ogwal stated, “It is good for us to discuss and talk about the Oulanyah, but it is my wish as well as the wish of 529 others who are with me in this wish that this painful death should leave an impact.”

The speaker stated that Ogwal’s concern did not require the modification at hand, but it is an issue that Parliament could follow up on.

Aceng stated that the procedure of the machine is on the course, with the process which is going to start on Monday, April 04, 2022.

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“During the current fiscal year, Parliament appropriated Shs 45 billion to purchase a PET scan for the Uganda Cancer Institute, and the contract was signed yesterday.” So we’ll get a PET scan,” Aceng explained.

She also mentioned that Parliament appropriated funds to build a nuclear medicine unit that will house the PET scan and a linear accelerator, as well as provide other treatments similar to those sought by Oulanyah in Seattle, USA.

Vice President Jessica Alupo gave supplementary information on the matter that operationalising the cyclotron and PET machine requires Shs 250 billion, and Shs 90 billion has been received by the Health Ministry.

“The Health Ministry Permanent Secretary states additional funding is being provided yearly. The PET scan cannot work without the cyclotron, so the earlier we also get it, the better,” Alupo said.

According to the chairperson of the Health Committee, Charles Ayume, besides the cancer equipment, the Finance Ministry should provide funding for regional blood banks to cover the shortfalls of blood units across the country.

“We heard that there were issues with blood transfusion where our departed speaker was being transfused every day. This financial year, no money was appropriated for regional blood banks in Moroto and Hoima, yet we have a shortfall of 150,000 units of blood,” Ayume said.

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