Today, Rwanda Military Hospital is set to inaugurate the new Rwanda Cancer Centre. The centre’s main aim is to offer specialised treatment in regards to cancer treatment.
Apart from the facility’s capacity to offer outstanding cancer care and treatment, Rwandans will no longer have to travel abroad for these services for the new facility is incorporated with the latest oncology technology.
The cancer centre is also set to provide cancer treatment using radiotherapy to patients within the country and from the region.
The radiotherapy centre is equipped with two Linear Accelerators from Elekta, and will be offering advanced treatment techniques with VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy) to all clients.
The launch of this facility coincides with the celebration of World Cancer Day which is celebrated annually on February 4.
The cancer burden
Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer, according to statistics from the World Health Organisation.
Information from Rwanda Biomedical Centre also shows that an estimated 10,704 new cancer cases involving 4,520 males and 6,184 females were recorded in 2018.
Among these cases, breast and cervical cancers were the most prevalent in women while prostate cancer was recorded mostly in men.
The facility’s launch is hence timely and its ability to offer quality and advanced cancer treatment is set to transform Rwanda’s health sector.
Dr Christian Ntizimira, a palliative care expert and one of the founding members of the Rwanda Palliative Care and Hospice Organisation says the launch of the cancer centre was an opportunity to improve on the quality of care of the population in treatment and supportive care.
He commended the centre’s capacity to offer quality services noting that the fact that patient won’t need to travel abroad for treatment is another huge milestone.
“It will reduce the psycho-social and financial burden to patients and their families to get access to treatment. It also represents a sense of hope, dignity and humanity of the future,” Dr Ntizimira says.
Dr Fidel Rubagumya a clinical oncologist says the centre’s launch is definitely a great achievement for the health sector and the country at large.
He explained that the goal of this initiative is to have a comprehensive cancer centre, where a patient with suspected cancer will get diagnosed, treated (whether it’s an operation, chemotherapy or radiation therapy) and followed up.
“The centre actually started last year and we have treated about 400 patients from within the country but also from neighbouring countries. The official launch brings many partners and stakeholders, especially from the region, and when they go back to their countries they will be our ambassadors. The centre’s plan is to not only to be a centre for Rwandans but to serve the region we are in,” he adds.Follow https://twitter.com/DonahMbabazi