During an official visit to Egypt on 21 and 22 June 2010, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano was briefed by oncologists and radiologists at the Children´s Cancer Hospital (CCH) in Cairo. He spoke with patients at the hospital, the first children´s cancer hospital in the region.
During the briefing, cancer experts informed Director General Amano that over 5 000 children in Egypt are estimated to develop cancer annually.
He learned that forty percent of these children will not survive the disease, since they do not have access to adequate treatment and facilities. They underlined the importance of the cooperation and training courses with the IAEA in the field of cancer treatment, mainly through the ongoing Coordinated Research Project, Optimization of Radiotherapy in Low Resource Settings: Paediatric Cancer Patients, which is undertaken by the IAEA´s Human Health Division.
The Children´s Cancer Hospital, a public-private initiative, mainly funded through individual donations and contributions, opened in July 2007 and provides cost-free treatment to children with cancer regardless of race, creed, or ability to pay.
Hospital officials informed Director General Amano that their vision was to make the CCH one of the leading comprehensive paediatric oncology hospitals worldwide. They hoped to achieve their vision by providing high-quality clinical services, continuous training and education, research, and international recognition and cooperation. They also expressed their readiness to assist other Arab and African States by transferring knowledge and expertise to them.
The Director General commended the CCH´s achievements and emphasized the Agency´s readiness to continue providing assistance to centres of excellence worldwide such as the CCH.