President Paul Kagame has praised the newly constructed Rwanda Cancer Centre as a facility that will save the lives of hundreds of Rwandans and also help the government better spend the resources that have been used to send patients abroad for treatment.
The Centre, which has been operational since March 2019, was launched on World Cancer Day and boasts cutting edge technology used in administering specialized treatment to cancer patients in form of VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy), a technology that accurately administers radiation to a tumour while minimising the dose to the organs surrounding it.
The facility that is located at the Rwanda Military Hospital in Kanombe also houses the country’s only radiotherapy facility and expects to have both chemo and surgery in the near future.
During the launch of the facility, President Kagame said many Rwandans will now be able to get the care they need at home with their families close by.
The President further promised with time the centre will grow to encompass the full range of diagnostic and treatment services for both inpatient and outpatient needs.
Since the beginning of the facility’s operations last year, up to 317 patients have been treated. The center has the ability to handle up to 150 to 200 patients a day.
Officials at the Rwanda Cancer Centre explain how the equipment at the facility operate. Photo: E. Kwizera.
Dr François Uwinkindi the Director of Cancer diseases Unit in Rwanda Biomedical Centre said that the radiotherapy offered by the centre will complement the other 2 treatment options that have been available in Rwanda, which are chemotherapy and surgery; and a combination of the different kinds of treatment that will bring better results.
In 2018, Rwandan health facilities received about 3000 patients with cancer cases.
Dr Felix Sinzabakira, a radiation oncologist at the Rwanda Cancer Centre said that the facility will not only be of service to Rwanda alone, but also to the region.