Uganda Cancer Institute
|Uganda Cancer Institute|
|Uganda Ministry of Health & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center|
|Location||Mulago, Kampala, Central Region, Uganda|
|Hospital type||Cancer Treatment, Research and Teaching|
|Other links||List of hospitals in Uganda|
Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) is a public, specialized, tertiary care medical facility owned by the Uganda Ministry of Health. The facility is located along Upper Mulago Hill Road, on Mulago Hill, in the Kawempe Division of Kampala, about 4.5 kilometres (2.8 mi) northeast of the central business district of the city. The geographical coordinates of the institute are: 00°20'29.0"N, 32°34'40.0"E (Latitude:0.341389; Longitude:32.577778).
UCI is a cancer treatment, research, and teaching center, affiliated with the Makerere University School of Medicine and with the Mulago National Referral Hospital, the teaching hospital for the medical school. UCI maintains an inpatient facility with a capacity of 80 beds. It attends to an average of about 200 patients daily.
In October 2011, ground was broken for a three-story, integrated cancer training and treatment facility, measuring nearly 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2). The new building, called the "Uganda Cancer Institute/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Clinic and Training Institute", is a project of the UCI/Hutchinson Center Cancer Alliance, a collaboration of UCI and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, USA. In May 2015, the completed facility opened and began attending to patients.
UCI was founded in 1967 with twenty beds, as the Lymphoma Treatment Center, to treat childhood lymphomas, predominantly Burkitt's lymphoma, the most common childhood lymphoma in Uganda and endemic to tropical Africa. In 1969, UCI expanded to a total of 40 beds, when the Solid Tumor Center was added to focus research on Kaposi's sarcoma and liver cancer. "During the 1960s and early 1970s, UCI was a leading international medical research center, in its areas of specialization. UCI established collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland."
In 1972, following the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by dictator Idi Amin, nearly all of NCI's scientists left. "Professor Charles Olweny, a Uganda researcher, interrupted his studies at NCI in the USA and returned to become the first Ugandan director of UCI. In 1982, following the overthrow of Idi Amin, Olweny was forced to leave Uganda for security reasons, leaving leadership of UCI in the hands of Professor Edward Katongole-Mbidde. When Katongole-Mbidde left UCI to become the director at the Uganda Virus Research Institute in 1995, Dr. Jackson Orem took over the helm at UCI. Between 2011 and 2015, the bed capacity at the institute was increased to 80.
The international research centers with collaborative projects with Uganda Cancer Institute include, but are not limited to the following:
- National Cancer Institute - Bethesda, Maryland, USA
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - Seattle, Washington, USA
- Case Western Reserve University - Cleveland, Ohio, USA
In 2016, the institute installed a "Flexitron Cobalt-60 High Dose Rate" brachytherapy system from Elekta. The system is part of a two-year renovation plan that UCI is implementing at a cost of US$49 million.
In March 2016, the "Cobalt-60 Teletherapy" unit at UCI, which had been in use for the previous 20 years, broke down. Efforts to acquire a replacement unit are underway, with installation expected in 2018. In the interim, the Uganda Ministry of Health has arranged with the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, to offer teletherapy to some Ugandan patients.
A brand new teletherapy machine, manufactured in the Czech Republic, arrived in Uganda in August 2017. The machine was purchased at a cost of €642,000 (more than UShs2.7 billion), contributed by the government of Uganda and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It is expected that installation of the new machine will take at least one month. Following installation and testing of the new machine, the institution started treating patients using the new telepathy machine on 4 December 2017 and officially commissioned it on 19 January 2018.
Medical directors of UCI
The following medical researchers have served as director of UCI since its founding in 1967:
- John Ziegler - American: 1967-1972
- Charles Olweny - Ugandan: 1972-1982
- Edward Katongole-Mbidde - Ugandan: 1982-1995
- Jackson Orem - Ugandan: 1995–Present
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