The new cancer machine, the Cobalt 60 Teletherapy arrived in the country on Tuesday afternoon.
“The two units of the machine are safely here now. The bulk unit came by sea and the fragile energy source reached by air on Tuesday,” a source at Health Ministry said on Thursday night.
The payments and clearance of Uganda’s Cobalt-60 Teletherapy unit (TERABALT) was finalized on June 16th 2017 according to documents exclusively obtained by this website from Czech Republic where the machine is manufactured and International Atomic Energy Agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
The machine is procured from Czech Republic’s multi technology company, UJP Praha that majorly deals in medical, nuclear and industrial machineries.
The whole unit according to one of the documents was purchased at 664,830.00 Euros between May and June and it arrived at Mombasa port last month.
“This is to certify that Cobalt-60 Teletherapy unit TERABALT equipment andmaterials destined for Uganda, are free of import taxes, fees and dues from which the International Atomic Energy Agency is exempted by virtue of the privileges and immunities accorded to it by its member states,” one the letters from IAEA written in June said.
This website understands that IAEA offered half of the funds to purchase the machine and the government topped the remaining balance.
The machine was supposed to be bought in 2006 when IAEA made the offer but the Shs 30bn bunker to house it was supposed to be built first. The government remained reluctant until last year when the old machine broke down.
The bunker construction has been completed according to sources in Health Ministry and installation and testing of the machine is going to start this very month.
The old cancer machine that was handling 17,000 cancer patients annually, broke down on 28th March 2016. The authority ruled out any chances of repairing the machine that was installed 22 years ago, and only decided to take a lengthy path of acquiring a new machine.