Tanzania President Dedicates New Equipment for Cancer Treatment
Canadian Firm Donates Radiotherapy Machine Through PACT Partnership
(Front left) In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete dedicated new radiotherapy equipment for cancer care supplied through the IAEA Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). "The event we are witnessing today is the initial fruits of the PACT initiative," he said. 14 May 2008 (Credit: D.Malin/IAEA)
Tanzania´s President Jakaya Kikwete has inaugurated a new radiotherapy machine for cancer treatment provided through the IAEA´s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT). The inauguration took place 14 May 2008 in Dar es Salaam, home to the country´s main cancer institute.
"Tanzania is to be congratulated for recognising and taking action to ease the cancer burden of men, women and children afflicted by this deadly disease," said Mr. Werner Burkart, IAEA Deputy Director General for the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications at the ceremony, speaking on behalf of IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei. "The radiotherapy machine is a valuable addition to the Ocean Road Cancer Institute´s treatment and pain palliation capacity." The machine is being donated through PACT by MDS Nordion of Canada.
Tanzania´s President Jakaya Kikwete commended the initiative and the direction of efforts to fight cancer, while pledging his support for regional action against the disease.
"The event we are witnessing today is the initial fruits of the PACT initiative. Indeed, we in Tanzania consider this event as one of the milestones in cancer control in our country. We are happy and pleased to reach this stage. For us it is a great leap forward in our fight against this dreaded disease. I would like to assure the IAEA that we shall use every opportunity to build on this firm foundation.
"I urge the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and Ocean Road Cancer Institute to explore the possibility of conducting a comprehensive programme of nationwide voluntary cancer testing. I am ready to give all the support you may need.
"As the current Chairman of the African Union and Patron of the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC), I will do my best to make sure that the fight against cancer is put high on the African agenda. We need to sensitize everyone to join the fight against the disease on the continent."
The PACT cancer partnership works with IAEA Member States and the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote cancer screening and treatment integration into existing health care systems in the developing world. It also bridges aid to poorer nations in setting up cancer plans within their national health systems.
To this end the programme has set up a system of PACT Model Demonstration Sites in Tanzania and other countries, namely Albania, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Yemen. In Tanzania, the IAEA has invested more than US $5million through PACT and national and regional Technical Cooperation projects to help the country's cancer care and treatment. Projects have included the provision of radiation therapy technology and the decommissioning of old equipment, the training of Tanzanian medical professionals in the areas of radiation oncology, medical physics and cancer registration, and the provision of short-term international experts to assist with capacity building efforts.
Founded in 1957 to harness nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, the IAEA's mandate responds to challenges in human health, food and agriculture, and water resources, among others, through its support of beneficial applications of nuclear science and technology.
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