Introduction and Background:

The Oncology Department (OD) at St Francis Hospital Nsambya (Nsambya) is one of the newly established departments to address the growing need for comprehensive cancer care in the hospital and in Uganda as a country, in general.

Cancer Care Services at Nsambya Hospital, started quite early in the history of this Hospital, even though records do not clearly spell out the dates when the first patient was seen and what cancer type was first managed.  Gradually, cancer patient numbers managed at Nsambya increased.  In 2009, in an effort to create awareness among mothers who came to Nsambya, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology opened a Cervical Cancer Unit to carry out screening to identify women with early cancer lesions and be managed accordingly.

In the subsequent year, in June 2010, another clinic was established by the Department of Surgery with the aim of screening mothers who attended the cervical cancer screening; this time, paying special attention to breast cancer screening, too.  Community outreaches have been conducted – reaching out to communities for cancer awareness and screening.  Following these awareness outreaches, the Hospital considered screening for the two cancers, cervical and breast.  With the increasing numbers of patients who were diagnosed with both breast and cervical cancer, the need for a Medical Oncologist was evident.  In May 2011, a medical oncologist was recruited.

In the course of time, we have been supported by AISPO, Oncology for Africa, Uganda Cancer Institute, Apollo Hospital – Chennai and Cytecare Cancer Hospitals; and partnered with Hospice Uganda, Uganda Rotary Cancer Programme, Centenary Bank and Yashoda Hospitals for the development of cancer services at the hospital.

To date, the Hospital has the Rotary-Centenary Bank Cancer center that houses the oncology services at St Francis Hospital Nsambya.


Our Mission, Vision and Values


In line with the Nsambya Hospital mission, our mission is to deliver the highest possible quality cancer care and palliative care for cancer patients and their families with the intention of improving survival and quality of life through integrating cancer preventive/screening, treatment, palliation and rehabilitative services with research and education/training of staff and students.


To be an international cancer care center of choice, providing screening and early diagnosis, instituting prompt and appropriate medical, surgical and palliative care for cancer patients and conducting clinical, socio-behavioral and epidemiological research on cancers that may lead to the prevention, cure or mitigation of cancer impact on individuals and families.

Core Values:

The OD complements the hospital values with the values of:

  • Compassion
  • Justice
  • Upholding human dignity
  • Respect for life and person
  • Team work
  • Honesty

Oncology Department staffing:

Oncology nurses
Clinical Psychologist
Medical Oncologist
Surgical oncologists
Gyn. oncologist
Reproductive Health Specialist
Auxiliary support staff
Palliative care nurses
Medical officers

Services Offered at the center:

The services offered at the center include:

  1. Cancer screening and diagnosis:
    1. We carry out cancer screening for a variety of cancers including cervical, breast, prostate, gastrointestinal, liver, pancreas; for which we have different equipment and various screening tests.
    2. We attend to all patients – with or without appointment
    3. We have a SANAS accredited Laboratory that offers all the screening and diagnostic (histopathology and immunohistochemical testing) tests and also have a well-equipped radiology department for cancer screening and diagnosis (interventional radiology, MRI, CT scan, U/S).
    4. We also have a well-equipped endoscopy unit for cancer diagnosis and follow up.
    5. Cancer awareness activities
  1. Chemotherapy preparation and administration:
    1. We have a dedicated chemotherapy unit with dedicated staff for its functions
    2. Chemotherapy preparation and administration guidelines are strictly followed to enhance patient, family and staff safety
    3. Chemotherapy administration planned on a day care basis after adequate patient and family preparation
    4. We carry out all the necessary tests during chemotherapy cycles as indicated for the specific treatment regimen.
  2. Patient follow up:
    1. Regular patient follow-up is done in the follow up clinics as planned for the specific patient
    2. Patient navigation – done on a regular basis to follow up on patients’ appointments, progress and any arising issues
    3. We do patient work up for the various cancer treatment modalities.
  3. Cancer support services:
    1. Palliative care and counselling services – we have a well-staffed palliative care unit; also in collaboration with Hospice Uganda
    2. Socio-psychological support – we have a clinical psychologist handling patient and family socio-psychological issues
    3. Nutritional support – we have a nutritionist integrated into cancer patient care, provides nutritional education and guides patients and family in diet
    4. Cancer survivors – regularly offer support to patients – education, psychosocial support


  1. Hospital Cancer Registry – a computerized and coded cancer database in place, regularly reviewed and updated.
  2. Multidisciplinary team discussions – multidisciplinary team approach to planning patient management


Departmental Schedule: 

Activity Day Time
Cancer Screening and diagnosis  

Monday to Friday

9.00 am to 1.00 pm

2.00 pm to 5.00 pm


Patient follow up clinic


Monday to Friday (as scheduled for the specific patient)


9.00 am to 4.00 pm

Tumor Board Thursday 8.30 am to 10.00 am
Cancer support services  

Monday to Friday

9.00 am to 1.00 pm

2.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Medical Oncologist clinic Tuesdays and Thursdays 1.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Gyn. Oncologist clinic Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 9.00 am to 1.00 pm

2.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Surgical Oncologist clinic Monday 9.00 am to 1.00 pm

2.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Surgical Oncologist clinic Tuesday 2.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Surgical Oncologist clinic Thursday 10.00 am to 1.00 pm

2.00 pm to 5.00 pm

Chemotherapy administration Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays Variable – depends on the booking for the particular patient

For Inquiries, Call:

0414267012   |   0778987943


Sr. Dr. Gorreti Nassali

Consultant Surgeon M.B. Ch.B –  MUK MMED (Surgery)  –  MUK COSECSA Honorary lecturer – MKPGMS Head of Department, Oncology Trained at Makerere University, Kampala Qualifications: MB ChB, MMed (General Surgery) Membership to Profession