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Cooperation with Uruguay to Focus on Health, IAEA Director General Says in Montevideo


IAEA Director General Yikiya Amano at the Hospital de Clinicas in Uruguay. (Photo: C. Brady/IAEA)

Health care, including cancer control, is the main focus of the IAEA's support to Uruguay, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in Montevideo on Friday. While Uruguay has well-equipped and well-staffed cancer and nuclear medicine centres, there is high demand for qualified medical physicists for radiation medicine applications.

"Our current activities in Uruguay are focussed on improving nuclear medicine services to provide early diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of diseases, in line with Uruguay's priorities," Mr Amano said to Minister of Foreign Relations Rodolfo Nin Novoa and Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining Carolina Cosse. In the last ten years, 120 fellows and visitors from Uruguay have received training organized by the IAEA in the fields of radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and radiopharmacy, as well as in the use of nuclear techniques in water management and agriculture.

This year, the IAEA helped to establish a new nuclear medicine centre in the city of Durazno, near Montevideo, to provide diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for patients in the northern and central regions. In 2013, the IAEA helped to deliver a linear accelerator to the Hospital de Clínicas of Montevideo, which Mr Amano visited on Friday.

Uruguay is participating in an IAEA project to fight the New World screwworm, a parasite unique to Central and South America which affects both animals and humans.   Professionals from Uruguay have been trained in identifying the parasite, controlling its distribution, evaluating the social and economic damage it causes and conducting outreach campaigns to raise awareness.

The IAEA will continue to provide assistance to Uruguay in several other areas, Mr Amano said. These include the application of nuclear techniques for soil conservation, food safety, energy planning and radiation protection and understanding the impact of climate change.

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