High-Level Panel at IAEA to Mark World Cancer Day 2017

Vienna, Austria

HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan and Kim Simplis Barrow, First Lady of Belize, will join an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) panel discussion on 3 February to mark World Cancer Day. Yukiya Amano, IAEA Director General, will formally open the event at the Vienna International Centre (VIC). 

The high-level discussion, Global Action - National Needs. #CancerCare4All, will explore how inequalities in access to cancer treatment in the world can be addressed through increased political commitment and strategic partnerships at both national and global levels.

The event will take place on 3 February 2017 from 10:30 to 12:00 in Conference room C1, 2nd floor, in the C Building of the VIC.  The event is open to media.

Live video streaming will be available online from 10:30. Please note that the video stream will be broadcast on a view-only channel.

Speakers include:

  • Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, President-Elect, Union for International Cancer Control
  • Ms Kim Simplis Barrow, First Lady of Belize
  • Mr Amadou Diarra, Council Member of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)

Interviews with individual speakers can be organized upon request.


Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million fatalities in 2012 and killing two and a half times more people than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The International Agency for Research on Cancer reports that over half of all new cases of cancer occur in low-and middle-income countries and estimates that this will rise to 60 per cent by 2020. These countries however, only have 5 per cent of the total global resources available for cancer care. 

Radiotherapy is an essential and cost-effective form of treatment for many cancers, but globally not all patients have access to it. In low- and middle-income countries, access is extremely limited: 80 per cent of Africa’s one billion inhabitants have no access to radiotherapy and related cancer services.

The IAEA estimates there is a shortfall of over 5,000 radiotherapy machines in low- and middle-income countries to meet the current demand for this vital treatment. In addition to this essential equipment, 10,000 additional radiation oncologists, 6,000 medical physicists, 3,000 dosimetrists and 20,000 radiation therapists would be required in these countries to support this service.

For more than 30 years, the IAEA has supported Member States in improving capacities to deliver early detection, diagnosis, treatment and palliative cancer care services. The Agency invested Euro 297 million in cancer projects between 1980 and 2016. Approximately Euro 90 billion (US$97 billion dollars) would be required to enable full access to radiotherapy for all patients in need in low- and middle-income countries by 2035.


HRH Princess Dina Mired of Jordan
As the mother of a cancer survivor, Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan is passionate in her efforts to combat cancer. She led the King Hussein Cancer Foundation in Jordan as Director General for over 14 years, transforming its cancer care programme and helping thousands of patients. Last year, Her Royal Highness was elected to the Presidency of the Union for International Cancer Control, a global network of over 950 organisations in 155 countries seeking to unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden. She will begin her role as President in 2018.

Kim Simplis Barrow - First Lady of Belize
Ms Kim Simplis Barrow is the First Lady of Belize and has a long history of working with children, establishing and leading one of Belize’s most acclaimed Non-Governmental Organizations, Lifeline Foundation. She was appointed as the Special Envoy for Women and Children of Belize in 2008. Ms Simplis Barrow is a cancer survivor, and bravely chose to make her diagnosis public and to campaign for increased public awareness of the disease and to reduce stigma and discrimination. She has worked closely with the Belize Cancer Society to increase cancer awareness.

Amadou Diarra - Council Member of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA)
Mr Amadou Diarra is Council Member of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and Vice President of Global Policy, Advocacy and Global Affairs at the pharmaceutical company Bristol-Meyers Squibb (BMS). Mr. Diarra and BMS recognize the strong ties between HIV and other infectious diseases with cancer. He is deeply involved in the company’s Secure the Future Initiative, which has invested more than US$ 100 million dollars into HIV programmes in Africa, and includes activities to fight cervical and breast cancer.


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 Michelle Gruensteidl for accreditation. Please  email m.gruensteidl@iaea.org or call [+43-1] 2600-22048 or [+43-1] 2600-21273.


Last update: 20 June 2018


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