Tanzania: Cancer Treatment Set for Big Boost

OCEAN Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) is set to start offering PET-CT Scan services from June this year after securing a contractor who will construct the facility over a six-month period.

PET-CT Scan is a diagnostic examination that involves getting images of the body based on the detection of radiation from the emission of positrons.

It is a new detection for the exact representation of certain types of cancer and their metastasis.

According to the Executive Director of the ORCI, Dr Julius Mwaiselage, the PETCT Scan project at the health facility will be the biggest in the Sub-Saharan African countries.

The method fits very well with checking the effects and success of the therapy used.

Through consultation, PET-CT Scan determines the exact position, size, activity and development of cancer inthe entire body.

The government had already disbursed 14.5bn/- for the project upon which the institute plans to sign an agreement with a contractor later this month.

The contractor will, among other works, construct a building and install the Pet-CT Scan machines.

"Upon completion of the project, the government will be saving at least 15bn/- annually in financing treatment of patients seeking such services abroad," Dr Mwaiselage stated.

He was speaking on Monday in Dar es Salaam during a meeting with journalists and information officers of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and its institutions.

The meeting was held as part of a campaign dubbed: 'Tumeboresha Afya,' (We have improved health status), which highlights measures taken to improve the health sector during President John Magufuli's four years of leadership so far.

He further explained that the Fifth phase government had invested a lot in cancer diagnosis and treatment at the institute.

In 2018/19, the government invested about 9.4bn/- in purchasing modern machines for cancer treatment, mainly chemotherapy. Currently, the ORCI has about 60 machines for chemotherapy treatment to patients.

Modern equipment has enabled the institute to serve up to 300 patients who need chemotherapy daily.

On the other hand, medicines for leading types of cancers are currently available by 100 per cent.

This was a result of the increased budget for cancer drugs from 770m/- in 2015/16 to the current 10bn/-.

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