The Uganda Cancer Institute has admitted that some cancer patients sleep outside and on the floor.
In a response to a media report that the patients had no option but to spend cold nights on the ground, Uganda Cancer Institute confirmed that this was indeed happening.
The institute explained that it had no accommodation facilities for the outpatients who choose to stay to wait for their appointments with doctors.
Some of these come from areas far away from Kampala and do not want to return home until they have been worked on since this is considered expensive.
“It is true some of our patients (outpatients) sleep outside because there’re no hostels to house them. But it should be noted that all our inpatients sleep in the wards as required,” noted the institute.
“These patients come from very far and cannot go back home as required due to lack of transport fees. They prefer to remain on ground waiting for their next appointment.”
The institute also took space to explain what it is doing to mitigate this challenge.
The first measure, the institute said, was the setting up regional cancer centers so that patients do not have to travel to Kampala for treatment.
“They will be treated in the comfort of their homes. In Arua, Gulu, Mbarara, Mbale. The construction in Gulu is almost complete and will be operational this year,” Uganda Cancer Institute said.
The other measure was the setting up of patient hostels.
“Plans are in place to work with civil society, patient care organizations among others to set up patient hostels specifically for the outpatients so that our patients do not have to sleep outside,” the statement added in the statement.
“Treatment in Mbarara is already visibly going on for both children and adults in the cancer clinic within the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital. Once we finalize processes,the center will also be established. Other centers will also be established once funds are made available.”