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States Back IAEA Initiatives to Fight Poverty & Save Lives

Saving lives

The IAEA helps take radiotherapy to developing countries. (Photo credit: P. Pavlicek/IAEA)

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States meeting at the IAEA General Conference today commended IAEA initiatives to help countries fight poverty and give more people the chance to beat serious illness and disease. Adopted resolutions single out cooperative work for better cancer treatment in developing countries, and to control insects that transmit malaria, and trypanosomosis killing people and livestock.

  • States welcomed the IAEA´s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) and requested its further development and implementation. Cancer is a growing silent crisis, especially in the developing world where most patients face limited care and treatment and no access to radiotherapy. PACT seeks and directs funds from individuals, charitable trusts, foundations and public and private sector to help patients in poor countries receive potentially life-saving cancer care and treatment. The resolution emphasized the importance of working in synergy and partnership with organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Agency for Research and Cancer (IARC), the International Union Against Cancer (UICC), the Alliance for Global Cancer Control.


  • States cited the significant contribution of the IAEA´s programme to support the African Unionís Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Eradication Campaign (AU-PATTEC). Tsetse flies, and the trypanosomosis disease they transmit are a major transboundary African problem. They are seen as a root of poverty hampering development and threatening the health of humans and livestock. The tsetse disease still places at risk millions of livestock and more than 60 million people in 37 countries. PATTEC advocates an area-wide and integrated tsetse eradication approach, including the application of the Sterile Insect Technique, a radiation-based technology. The IAEA resolution called on States to continue to provide technical, financial, and material support African States in their efforts to create "tsetse free zones".


  • Citing the track record against the tsetse fly, States asked the IAEA to target the Sterile Insect Technique against mosquitoes transmitting malaria, in support of African and global efforts to "Roll-Back" the disease. Malaria causes about two million deaths per year and about 300-500 million cases of clinical malaria annually, with 90% of cases reported in Africa. IAEA Member States requested the Agency to continue and strengthen research required to use the Sterile Insect Technique for the control and eradiation of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes, and to increasingly involve scientific and research institutes in Africa and other developing countries.