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The Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), the body mandated to undertake and coordinate cancer management in the country, has said it needs $60 million (about Shs227.8 billion) to establish three regional cancer centres.

Dr Jackson Orem, the UCI executive director, said the money would be used to build the centres in Mbale, Mbarara and Arua to address the hardship in access to care and reduce cancer deaths.

He said the first regional cancer centre, which has been established in Gulu, has started handling some patients ahead of planned official commissioning this year.

Dr Orem made the remarks yesterday in Kampala while addressing the journalists about the ongoing cancer awareness month, being commemorated under the theme, ‘Close the Care Gap.’

Information from UCI indicates that there are around 34,000 new cancer cases in Uganda every year but the majority do not access care in designated treatment centres or present late for treatment.

As a result, around 21,300 cancer deaths happen in the country yearly, according to UCI figures.

Dr Nixon Niyonzima, the head of research and training at UCI, said only 23 percent of new cancer cases make it to care centres.

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