RWANDA – President Paul Kagame inaugurated the Rwanda Cancer Centre, a facility that has cutting edge technology that is used in administering specialised treatment to cancer patients.

Located at the Rwanda Military Hospital in Kanombe, the centre houses the country’s only radiotherapy facility and expects to have both chemo and surgery in the near future.

The centre is equipped with two linear accelerators that offer treatment using VMAT (Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy), a technology that accurately administers radiation to a tumour while minimising the dose to the organs surrounding it.

According to medics at the cancer centre, VMAT technology gives better treatment results since it minimizes the possibility of radiation reaching the healthy parts of the patient’s body, hence avoiding a scenario unwanted complication.

The facility has been operational since March 2019 and up to 317 patients have been treated from it. it has the ability to handle 150 to 200 patients a day.

Presiding over the launch of the facility, President Kagame praised the facility for having already worked to save lives, as he reflected on its future impact on Rwandans

“We have been spending large sums of money to send a few patients abroad each year for cancer treatment. We don’t have a lot of money in the first place, but then large sums of money were being spent treating a few patients, but we have many patients to treat.

“We need to take that into account and that is really the importance of the centre we have here and what we see in the near future as an extension of it to accommodate many other things,” he said.

“Now many more Rwandans will be able to get the care they need with their families close by.”

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, with about 70% of cancer-related death occurring in low- and middle-income countries.

As of 2015, over 8.8 million people died from cancer in Africa. This figure is expected to increase to about 15 million in 2020. The government of Rwanda launched the cancer centre to curb cancer prevalence in the country.