Around Africa This Past Week (10/04/2016)

A Ugandan women receives radiation treatment for cervical cancer at the Mulago Hospital, in Kampala, Uganda, July 19, 2013.  While Uganda was able to get a handle on the AIDs epidemic through ARV drugs and assistance from the international community, the country still struggles with how to treat and diagnose an overwhelming number of Cancer patients across the country.  Thousands are currently being treated by only a handful of trained Oncologists in the entire country of Uganda; basic chemotherapy and Cancer medicines are often in short supply or unavailable, the radiation machine is outdated, in-patient beds are limited, and most Cancer patients can not afford transportation fare to reach diagnosis and treatment in Kampala from villages across the country.  (Credit: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

Uganda’s only radiotherapy machine breaks down

Uganda’s only radiotherapy machine used for treating cancer is broken beyond repair. Mulago Hospital, the country’s main is now looking for $1.8 million to buy a new machine as thousands of patients have been left in the cold. The machine in Uganda was donated in 1995 and had been successfully repaired in the past. This time efforts to fix it failed. The unit is said to receive 44,000 new referrals from Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi as well as South Sudan. Almost 75 percent of these people need radiotherapy. Radiotherapy treatment targets and kills cancerous cells in a specific part of the body using radiation.

Congo Brazzaville Opposition leader, Jean-Marie Mokoko running scared

Mokoko, an opposition leader in Congo-Brazaville’s home has been surrounded by security forces while he has been stripped of his security detail which he is entitled to as a former army general. Mokoko came third in the country’s elections last month but has refused to accept the results. President Sassou Nguesso won the elections with a huge 60% after amendments to the Constitution allowing him to run for a third term. All main opposition parties have said the elections were rigged.