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Omoro District Leaders Disagree on Relocation of Cancer Treatment Centre

Last month, the district council passed a resolution to shift the treatment centre to a 20-acre piece of land in Bobi Sub County. The land situated next to Bobi Health Centre III was formerly the administrative land for Omoro County.
Omoro district leaders are bickering over the location of a new piece of land for the construction of the Northern Region Cancer Treatment Centre.   

The district local government earmarked four acres of land in Pageya Parish, Koro Sub County for the construction of the facility. But later, part of the land was offered to Gulu, which is transforming into a city, and required to expand its boundaries.

Last month, the district council passed a resolution to shift the treatment centre to a 20-acre piece of land in Bobi Sub County. The land situated next to Bobi Health Centre III was formerly the administrative land for Omoro County.   

But Koro Sub County chairperson Justine Odong Obiya says the decision is designed to deny his area, an opportunity to host the centre.  He demanded that Omoro district council revokes the decision arguing that it will frustrate the development which commenced early this year with a feasibility study, land demarcation and development of building plans by the government.    

Omoro District Speaker Damasco Odongo says that the change is to ensure that the facility remains in Omoro since the earlier proposed site will now be annexed to Gulu city.   

Nonetheless, Omoro District Chairperson Douglas Peter Okello says that the location of the centre does not matter because the ultimate is to serve the population of Northern Uganda.   He, however, hastens to add that the land in Bobi Sub County is more adequate and can accommodate the cancer facility, staff houses and provide enough space for patients their attendants. 

Okello disclosed that the district through the Chief Administrative Officer has formerly written to the ministry over the new development.   

The facility is one of the four regional cancer centres that the government plans to establish across the country.   The others will be in Arua in West Nile and Mbale in eastern Uganda. there is another cancer treatment centre already operational in Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, all of which will decongest the Uganda Cancer Institute in Mulago. 

Currently, cancer treatment is centralized only at the Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago, Kampala.   The new facilities will offer cancer screening, testing, diagnosis, treatment and preventive sensitization.  

Omoro district was in 2017 selected to host the facility following a request from Gulu Regional Referral Hospital which was initially selected to host it but did not have enough land to accommodate the request. St Mary`s Hospital Lacor in Gulu is the only major health facility treating cancer in Northern Uganda.