In his first statement to the IAEA Board of Governors, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano reiterated his commitment to the Agency´s work on cancer control. Addressing the IAEA´s Member States earlier this week, Mr. Amano stated, "My message is simple: cancer is a serious problem in developing countries; it should be recognized as a vital part of the global health agenda; and the IAEA can play an important role in improving cancer control in developing countries, in cooperation with the WHO and other partners."
He then brought to light two projects that the IAEA will launch this year. Both ventures, coordinated by the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), will seek to further knowledge development as it relates to cancer control efforts in Africa.
First among them is a pilot project to build regional cancer training networks in Africa, an IAEA initiative that will provide training to medical practitioners across several countries in Africa. Training will be provided on-site at existing cancer centres, and will be connected to regional networks that can strengthen and amplify the transfer of relevant knowledge. The project is hosted by the IAEA in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international partners.
The work of the training network will be buttressed by a second initiative, the Virtual University for Cancer Control (VUCC). This service will provide information to IAEA Member States that seek to develop training and further human resource development in the areas of prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment. As a "virtual" university, courseware and training will be provided online through a web-based portal. The regional networks and the VUCC are known collectively as VUCCnet.