Ntungamo Municipality MP Gerald Karuhanga has said lack of machines for detecting cancer early in hospitals is partly responsible for increased death of patients.
He said government money is misused by corrupt officials yet treating cancer is too expensive for the common man.
Mr Karuhanga was speaking at a requiem mass for his mother Jovah Kyomugisha Kafureeka at Sacred Heart Ntungamo Town Catholic Parish, Ntungamo Municipality, on Tuesday.
“Our mom (mother) started getting pain in the lower abdomen in 2018 and went to hospital but they could not get the sickness after two visits. We went there the third time when the pain persisted and they said ‘it may be cancer, you take her to India for PET scan because we do not have it in the country’,” Mr Karuhanga said.
He added: “When we reached India she was diagnosed with cancer and it had already spread to the whole body and she was in pain. How can the country fail to have a Shs700b machine that can save many Ugandans who normally travel abroad for treatment?”
Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that helps reveal how one’s tissues and organs are functioning. This scan can sometimes detect disease before it shows up on other imaging tests.
Kyomugisha, 56, was wife of Ntungamo Municipality mayor Jacob Kafureeka. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in India before she was referred to Evangelical Hospital in Germany, where she had been from January 23 up to when she died on February 1.
The deceased was a sister of Ms Debrah Rukutana, the wife of Minister of State for Labour and Rushenyi MP Mwesigwa Rukutana.
Hope for better
Mr Rukutana, who also attended the function, admitted that the country’s health facilities do not have the capacity to treat diseases such cancer. He, however, said there is a plan to construct a specialised hospital in Kampala.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Mbarara Archdiocese, Rt Rev Lambert Beinomugisha, reminded Christians that it’s only God who heals. He lauded Kyomugisha as a devoted Christian.
The Bishop of South Ankole Diocese, Rt Rev Nathan Ahimbisibwe, who spoke on behalf of the family friends, described Kyomugisha as a special person who loved all people without discrimination.
Kyomugisha is survived by a husband and nine children. She will be laid to rest in Mishenyi, Itojo Sub-county in Ruhaama County on Thursday.