Uganda on Thursday launched its first ever cancer diagnostic laboratory that would be used in the east African region to diagnose the disease early and accurately.
Launching the laboratory here, Minister of health Ruth Aceng said the facility will help improve the diagnosis of particular blood cancers, especially lymphomas and leukemias.
“I am reliably informed that this method detects the presence and extent of the blood cancers, even minimal residual disease, the small number of cancer cells that may remain after treatment despite no evidence of disease from other testing techniques,” she said.
“This is critical in helping the doctors to plan the most appropriate course of treatment and in monitoring the effectiveness of therapy,” she added.
Cancer incidence in Uganda is going up at a fast rate and yet the diagnostic capacity in the country is still low, according to the ministry of health.
Aceng said the establishment of the cancer laboratory accelerates Uganda’s agenda of building a center of excellence in the east African region.
According to the ministry, Uganda Cancer Institute is set to become the Center of Excellence in cancer management, research and training in the East African Community, a regional bloc bringing together six countries – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Rwanda and Burundi.