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Gulu Cancer Registry

The geographic area served by the hospitals in Gulu is primarily that of the Northern region. It is situated at the St. Mary's Hospital, Lacor. The target population covering 4 counties (Kilak, Nwoya, Aswa and Omoro):

Populations (2014 estimates)
Gulu district: 418,650
Amuru & Nwoya districts: 245,350

Sources of information for the registry:

Hospitals in registry area:

  • St Mary’s Hospital, Lacor is the largest hospital, and a regional referral centre. It is run by the diocese of Gulu and mainly funded by voluntary donations, especially via the Conti Foundation. It has 482 inpatient beds, organized into the 4 major services. There are no specialist services, and no specialist oncology. The radiotherapy department has been closed for several years. There is however a palliative care unit, dealing mainly with terminal cancer patients and a unit within the paediatric ward treating childhood tumours especially Burkitt lymphoma and nephroblastoma.
  • Gulu Regional Hospital: It is the main government referral hospital, providing services for the Northern region. It is located Gulu town. 350 beds, with 17 different services, including, as well as the basic specialties (Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics (maternity) gynaecology, paediatrics), ENT, Ophthalmology and Mental Health. There are no specialist services for cancer patients. There are basic lab services and diagnostic radiology.
  • Gulu Independent Hospital: A private hospital with about 80 in-patient beds
  • Military Hospital (100 beds)
  • Anika Hospital (100bed) (district level hospital) in Nwoya county, now Nwoya District.
  • Pathology laboratory: The only laboratory performing histopathology is in Lacor hospital. The laboratory has technical services, but no resident pathologist. Services are provided by visiting pathologists from Italy; some specimens are sent to Makerere. The lab is also responsible for all bone marrow specimens.
  • Hospitals outside the registry area: Patients from Gulu treated in hospitals in Kampala could be identified by the Kampala cancer registry, as could those diagnosed in the pathology laboratories (public and private) in Kampala.

    Methods of registration

  • Lacor Hospital: Case finding can be performed using the existing databases in the hospital, although some modification to them would be desirable.
  • Gulu Hospital: Case finding will require visiting each ward, at intervals of 1 month or so, to identify potential cases from the Discharge Registrar maintained in each individual ward. A provisional registration is made for all individuals, with a diagnosis of cancer (including all the information in the register: name, sex, age, address, diagnosis and date of discharge, and hospital record numbers. For patients with missing information, the case record will have to be located in Medical Records, to complete the registration form for the individual.
  • Other Hospitals: The collaboration of the other three hospitals should be solicited, and the methods of case finding – should they agree to collaborate

    Data management

    The registry is using CanReg 5 for data management.



    Number of cases registered in 2013-2014: 435.   Incidence rates (per 100,000) are shown in the two tables. The rates in Gulu appear to be very low. It's suspected that there is considerable under-registration, especially involving cases NOT diagnosed by pathology.




    Dr. Martin Ogwang
    St Mary’s Hospital
    Lacor, Gulu
    Tel:   +256 471432310/+256790915167
    This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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