PET scanner arrives on January 25 | Sunday Observer

PET scanner arrives on January 25

The Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Scanner which was purchased by public contribution to be installed at the Maharagama Apeksha Hospital is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka on January 25, 2018. Founder Fight Cancer Team(FCT) and President of the Kadijah Foundation, M.S.H. Mohammed who initiated the raising of funds to purchase a PET Scanner for the Apeksha Hospital spoke to the Sunday Observer, to enlighten us on its purchase and installation.

He said, the much awaited PET Scanner purchased with public contribution will arrive in Sri Lanka on January 25, 2018. “It is a high tech state-of-the-art machine, the latest and an expensive model, Siemens brand - a product of Germany, and cost Rs. 202 million. It has the capacity to perform over 100 scans per month. It would take nearly a month to install the machine and patients could receive its service from March,” he said.

“The building to install the PET Scanner at the Apeksha Hospital is almost complete and would be ready by March.

It has been built on the recommendations of the Sri Lanka Atomic Board. The Health Ministry proposes to get Fludeoxyglucose (FDG), a radio-pharmaceutical used in the medical imaging modality of PET injected to patients before taking the scan, from India or Singapore. A nine-member team of radiologists would be sent to Germany immediately to familiarize themselves with the operation of the machine,” Mohammed explained.

According to the Health Ministry, every year approximately, 15,000-20,000 patients die in Sri Lanka due to cancer. More than 50,000 new patients were registered last year. It is said, by 2022 cancer would be the number one killer in the country.

The main aim of the FCT is to make the Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama the number one cancer hospital in South Asia, Mohammed said.

The Apeksha Hospital was in need of a PET scanner. Only one private hospital has the facilities necessary for PET scans at present. A scan costs around Rs.150,000 and during the course of treatment most patients need to undergo many scans, but they cannot afford private scans. The Pet scan makes it easy to diagnose the disease, before treatment is decided upon, Mohammed elaborated.

He said, “The PET scanner, the shortage of which was greatly felt, has become a reality today due to the contribution made by 20 million people and the commitment of some 150 dedicated members of the FCT.

The FCT also plans to donate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Computed Tomography scan (CT), Endoscope, Colonoscope, Endoscopy Unit, Genetic Lab, Ultra Sound Scanner and Broncoscopes to the Apeksha Hospital, in the future.” 

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