By Mununi Paul Kazira
On Saturday, Crown Beverages Limited (CBL), the makers of soft drinks like Pepsi, Mirinda, Mountain Dew, Sting, Evervess, and Nivana Water, Saturday donated a CT Scan machine to St Francis Hospital Mutolere in Kisoro District.
The donation of the SOMATOM go. Now. (161118) CT Scan machine was made during an event held at the hospital grounds.
Speaking during the handover ceremony, the CBL Board Chairman Dr. Amos Nzeyi said that CBL has over the years been involved in a number of health-related CSR initiatives and with particular involvement and support that has been targeted to heath facilities located in hard-to-reach areas in Uganda.
Mutolere is one such facility and against this back-drop, the Hospital has today received a SOMATOM go.Now. (161118) CT Scan machine from us.
Nzeyi explained that, “This equipment provides for closer care with a unique mobile workflow delivering the image quality and dose reduction technologies required in today’s health arena. It is supported by AI-powered scan automation and new clinical features for an even wider range of indications, “Nzeyi explained.
“Our donation today as Crown Beverages Limited is highly strategic in nature and it aligns with our Business Ethos and Corporate Social Investment focus,” he noted, adding that, “We believe that it will go a long way in ensuring more Ugandans within the western corridor get the tests and treatment they need in time.”
According to a report published on Science Direct in a journal of Cancer Policy dated March 2021, the report shows that in Uganda, 32,000 new cases and 21,000 deaths caused by cancer occurred in 2018 while 56,238 people were living with cancer by 2018. According to the Globocan cancer statistics report of 2018 , the top seven cancers in Uganda – cancer of the cervix, KS, breast, prostate, NHL, liver and esophageal – account for 70% of new cancer cases. Late presentation that is estimated to stand at 80% and limited access to diagnosis and treatment services contribute to the high cancer death rate in Uganda.
In his remarks, the medical Director of St Francis Hospital Mutolere, Dr. Mugisha Jerome, overwhelmed by the donation to the hospital and community, expressed the hospital’s appreciation to Crown Beverages Limited for their huge contribution, citing the importance of state-of-the-art equipment that is relevant for the times and the prevalence of the disease if we are to put up a good fight.
“On average, St Francis Hospital Mutolere receives up to 7 cases of cancer patients seeking treatment every month. We also refer at least 3 patients with injuries to Mbarara and Kampala for CT Scans. There is also an increasing number of hard to diagnose benign conditions that are referred out on a regular basis for CT scans.
With the installation of this new CT Scan equipment, we shall be able to accurately diagnose patients in order to provide the right treatment and prevent late referrals and drug misuse that is increasingly becoming a public health problem with anticipated long-term consequences’’ he revealed.
“With CBL’s donation today, as a hospital that has medical personnel that has the right skills to support an informed fight against cancer and its treatment, I am certain that we will be able to create lasting change within our region,” Dr. Mugisha remarked.
He observed that “The availability of this machine will enable us to carry out frequent and routine checks for Cancer prevention and early detection within the community which will enable us to start early treatment and ensure better patient experience”
The World Health Organization estimates that between 30–50% of all cancers are avoidable by preventing or reducing exposure to cancer risk factors.
Early detection by use of appropriate machinery and technology similarly help in the provision of early treatment for patients. The core function of SOMATOM go.Now. (161118) CT Scan machines will be for early detection as an enabler for early and timely treatment for patients.
In his address, the CBL CEO, Mr. Paddy Muramiirah commented on the company’s continued interest and investment in Corporate Social Investment initiatives. He said that “CBL has carried out several Corporate social investment engagements through key touch-points in the lives of our customers and the communities in which we operate across the areas of health, education, environment and sports as a way to give back to customers and their loved ones.”
He noted “This initiative is going to help minimize cost related to travel and accommodation for patients and their families, by leveraging some of the latest CT scan technology to ensure accurate diagnosis and treatment as well as contribute to a better and healthier Kisoro population in the years to come,” adding that, “The machine is intended to provide service to people within Kisoro district and from neighboring towns and districts.”
“As a business, we are continually seeking to provide appropriate solutions to the current challenges facing communities in and around us,” he concluded.