IAEA Chief to Talk Cancer, Crops, Nutrition on Africa Visit
The IAEA is helping countries throughout Africa to tap and manage water supplies. (Photo credit: Levis Kavagi)
IAEA Director General Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei is in Ghana and Nigeria this week on a routine visit to see how the tools of nuclear science and technology are helping these countries meet critical needs.
As part of the visit, Dr. ElBaradei will inaugurate a radiotherapy cancer treatment centre at Komfu Anokye Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Prior to 1997 cancer patients in Ghana had few options for treatment. With IAEA assistance, comprehensive radiotherapy services were established at Accra, providing treatment to thousands. The new facility at Kumasi is already helping more Ghanaians, especially women, in their fight against diseases like cervical cancer.
The Agency is working with Ghana on numerous other projects, including ways to use isotopes to bolster crop yields, improve human nutrition and detect drug resistance in malaria.
Energy planning, radiation protection and safety are also on the agenda for the Director General´s two day visit to Ghana, where he will meet with President John Agyekum Kufuor, numerous government ministers and officials of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission.
In Nigeria, Dr. ElBaradei will visit the Energy Commission of Nigeria. Nigeria intends to set-up, with IAEA assistance, an accelerator facility that will help to expand its technical capabilities in areas such as health and the environment, minerals development and oil research activities.
Over the past four years the IAEA has provided the equivalent of over $4.9 million in technical assistance to Nigeria. Projects primarily target human and animal health, agriculture, food quality and safety, ground water, research and education, nuclear industrial applications, radiation protection and regulatory control.
A referral facility for radiotherapy, for example, was set up in the northern region of Nigeria improving cancer care for patients. It is hoped to expand radiotherapy services in the southern part of the country.
During his visit, Dr. ElBaradei will meet with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, numerous government ministers, and officials of the Energy Commission of Nigeria and the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority.