The Director London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and former Executive Director of UNAIDS, Dr. Peter Piot has paid tribute to the men and women working to serve Ugandans afflicted with different forms of cancer in Uganda. Touring the Uganda cancer Institute at Mulago, Dr. Piot who was in the country as part of the BBC Science Festival could not believe the number of patients who were waiting to be served, yet the health workers remained professional, calm and welcoming.
Dr. Piot was accompanied by Dr. Heidi Larson Senior Lecturer Faculty of Epidemiology nd Population Health, Sir John Savill, Chief Executive Officer, Medical Research Council, UK and also Dean, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburg. Others were Dr. Anatoli Kamali and Dr. Pontiano Kaleebu of the Medical Research Council/Uganda Virus Research Institute.
The Director Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr. Jackson Orem, informed the visitors that the Institute was expecting to start an expansion of its facilities in the near future. He also pointed out that there are efforts to migrate from manual record management to digital which makes management of patients and follow up a lot easier, faster and hassle-free. This also reduces waiting time for the patients, Dr. Orem said.
Dr. Orem informed the visitors that although there are two ways of accessing medication at the Uganda Cancer Institute, (private which is more expensive) and public (which is free or subsidized), this does not mean that those receiving free or subsidized treatment is poor quality.
Other areas visited during the brief tour included the Department of Microbiology, School of Biomedical Sciences, the Infectious Diseases Institute and the Malaria Sub-programme at the College of Health Sciences.