In April Uganda’s only radiotherapy machine was reported out of order after 21 years of faithful service spelling doom for cancer victims at Mulago. However, Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi agreed an arrangement that would see 80 patients flown to Nairobi for free treatment.
It has been a while since the promise. Initially, government screened three patients and cleared them for the trip to Nairobi. However, patients in Mulago remain stranded pending approval for the Nairobi trip; the patient situation worsens day by day.
According to the Uganda Cancer Institute spokesperson Christine Namulindwa, there is more to the process than sending patients to Nairobi. The process involves a great deal of requirements like upkeep since the patients require feeding while in Nairobi and the cancer institute, according to Namulindwa, is still in deliberation with Aga Khan agree on the details; the institute has reportedly appealed to Aga Khan management to provide these amenities.
Apparently, feeding remains the biggest concern.
“We cleared some but we are in talks with Aga Khan to see how patients can be fed while there. Because it is not a matter of taking the patient there for treatment and also you need to know that each patient going to Nairobi needs a nurse on the way,” said Christine Namulindwa.
She added that some of the approved patients cleared will meet the associated expenses individually. She advised other individuals capable of doing so to report to Mulago Cancer Institute and receive clearance.
“If there are patients who can cater for the attached bills I urge them to come for clearance” added Christine. Patients will not pay for the clearance.
However, one Mugisha who has abdominal cancer at Mulago said that he was asked for Ugsh40m to qualify for a clearance for the treatment in Nairobi or else he has to wait for negotiations between Aga Khan and Cancer Institute.