28 June 2013
As the number of cancer cases continues to grow in Yemen, capacities to treat patients remain underdeveloped and limited. The country’s only cancer therapy centre, located in Sana’a, relies on two radiotherapy machines, too few to cater for the population of over 24 million. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that there should be at least one radiotherapy machine per million people. To increase the availability and accessibility of cancer care in the country, the government of Yemen is now planning the construction of the first oncology centre in the seaport city of Aden, with the help of the IAEA’s technical cooperation (TC) programme and the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).
A consultative meeting to discuss this important undertaking has taken place at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna from 24 to 26 June 2013. During the meeting delegates from Yemen, together with an IAEA team, completed the proposed design for the new oncology centre and finalized a bankable document – needed for resource mobilization – for the project.
A bankable document is an elaborate project description setting out the purpose of the programme and its requirements. It helps donors to evaluate the advantages and risks inherent in the project in order to arrive to a decision to provide funding.
At the end of the meeting, all parties were positive on the final outlook of both the layout of the oncology centre and the bankable document.
Concluding the meeting, H.E. Ambassador Abdulhakim Abdulrahman Al-Ereyani, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Yemen to the IAEA, thanked everyone for their efforts and reflected on the collaboration between Yemen and the IAEA. “I am delighted to see the progress made during this meeting and I am thankful to the IAEA for all the support we have received through the technical cooperation programme. We hope that our cooperation will continue along the same course and will lead to first successes very soon,” said the Ambassador.
“We are committed to supporting the government of Yemen, through technical cooperation, in its efforts to strengthen cancer control in the country,” said Ali Boussaha, Director at the Department of Technical Cooperation. “The true measure of success will be reflected in the lasting tangible impact in the country, when we see the planned oncology centre in Aden dispensing effective care to cancer patients in need,” he added.