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Ethiopia’s First Lady to Join IAEA Director General in Marking World Cancer Day, 4 February 2015


Roman Tesfaye, the First Lady of Ethiopia, will join the IAEA and a panel of expert speakers for a roundtable discussion to mark World Cancer Day on 4 February 2015. Yukiya Amano, Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will formally open the event at the Vienna International Centre.

"Not Beyond Us" is the key message of this year's World Cancer Day. The panellists will speak from their different perspectives on cancer control, demonstrating that effective cancer control is "Not Beyond Us". Special emphasis will be given to issues relating to accessibility, equity, affordability, quality and partnerships.

The event will take place on 4 February 2015 from 14:30 to 16:30 in Boardroom B in the M-Building of the Vienna International Centre.

The roundtable discussion will be moderated by international health communications expert Birgit Kofler. Closing remarks will be given by Nelly Enwerem-Bromson, Director of the IAEA Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).

Together with Ethiopia's First Lady, the expert speakers include:

  • Tezer Kutluk, President of the Union for International Cancer Control (Union for International Cancer Control);
  • Doyin Oluwole, Executive Director of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon (George W. Bush Foundation);
  • Kennedy Lishimpi, Executive Director of the Cancer Diseases Hospital in Zambia; and
  • May Abdel-Wahab, Director of the IAEA’s Human Health Division.

A special performance by the Vienna-based "Dancers Against Cancer’"will conclude the event. In addition, the IAEA will display a projection to raise awareness of World Cancer Day on the side of the Vienna International Centre from 3 to 5 February.

Interviews with individual speakers could be organized upon request.


The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2020, more than 20 million people globally will die of cancer every year and that most of these deaths will occur in the developing world. Many of these countries lack the resources to adequately diagnose and treat cancer. Several dozen African and Asian countries lack appropriate infrastructure, including radiotherapy facilities, which means that thousands of people die from cancers that could be managed effectively, or even cured. World Cancer Day aims to raise awareness about cancer. Through its technical cooperation and human health programmes, the Agency within its mandate supports its Member States to strengthen capabilities to diagnose, treat and palliate cancer through the application of radiation medicine. Through PACT, the Agency works with international partners including WHO, to support Member States to develop and implement comprehensive national cancer control programmes, particularly in low and middle-income countries.  The Agency plays a key role in  support of cancer-related projects and initiatives throughout developing countries.


All journalists are requested to inform the IAEA Press Office of their plans to attend. Journalists with permanent credentials to the VIC need no additional credentials. We encourage those journalists who do not yet have permanent accreditation, to request it at UNIS Vienna.

Others should contact Theresa Mackay for accreditation. Please email press@iaea.org or call [+43-1] 2600-22048 or [+43-1] 2600-21273.

Last update: 20 June 2018


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