By Samuel Muhimba
Uganda government on Friday signed a financing agreement worth 7.5 million Euros (interest free loan) with the Republic of Austria for the establishment of a regional oncology (Cancer) centre in Northern Uganda (Gulu).
The agreement was signed by Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on behalf of the government while Republic of Austria was represented by the Head of Austrian Development Cooperation in Uganda Dr. Roswitha Kremser.
Also present at the signing ceremony was Dr. Victoria Walusansa, Deputy Director Uganda Cancer Institute.
At the signing ceremony, Kasaija thanked the Government of Austria and Unicredit Bank for the support and pledged on behalf of Government to fulfill the loan obligations.
“I wish to thank the Republic of Austria and Unicredit Bank for the support. We shall fulfill our obligations under this financing agreement and also ensure that the loan is properly utilized for the project to improve delivery of health services,” Kasaija noted.
He said government intends to construct and equip other three regional cancer centres in Mbarara, Arua and Mbale.
It should be noted that 85% of patients at the Uganda Cancer Institute come from different regions of the country and only 15% come from Kampala and neigbouring towns.