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Japan and Monaco Help Mongolia’s Cancer Patients Receive Access to Upgraded Services


Ayako Kubo of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (centre), with staff from Mongolia’s National Cancer Centre in Ulaanbaatar.

On a visit to Mongolia's National Cancer Centre (NCC) in May 2016, Ayako Kubo, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, discussed the various services the Centre offers, and Japan’s collaboration with foreign countries and international organizations including the IAEA. Dr. Bayar Oyun, NCC’s Deputy Director described the state-of-the-art cancer diagnosis and treatment services and training that can now be provided thanks to the support received from the governments of Japan and Monaco, through the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).

Japan has allocated 200,000 USD to a PACT project for Mongolia through which the NCC has benefited. “The new radiotherapy planning system supported by Japan will be in place this year as our first Linear accelerator radiotherapy machines become operational,” he said. “This will enable us to introduce additional highly accurate 3D radiation therapy and other modern technologies to Mongolia”.

Non-communicable diseases, including cancer, are the main causes of death and illness in Mongolia. Liver and stomach cancers account for over half of all cases and deaths to the disease, and annual figures are expected to double over the next 15 years. Providing adequate care for cancer patients is complicated by a relatively small population living across one of the world’s largest countries. In recognising this, Mongolia’s efforts to provide access to improved treatment planning at the NCC will enable more patients to get the quality cancer care needed.

Ayako Kubo commended the Centre’s work and said, “The NCC has an extremely important role in developing and enhancing the skills of the medical staff in charge of cancer treatment and palliative care all over Mongolia. It was a great pleasure to see with my own eyes how Japan’s Peaceful Uses Initiative allocation to PACT contributed to the treatment for cancer patients in Mongolia.”

Further assistance from the Principality of Monaco has provided a valuable boost for palliative care services through the training of palliative care doctors and nurses at district and provincial hospitals and the NCC, and the donation installation of additional equipment. The IAEA also supported technology for cancer diagnosis and treatment for radiation protection, x-ray calibration and medical imaging.

In 2010, the IAEA-PACT designated Mongolia as a PACT Model Demonstration Site. These pilot sites aim to demonstrate the effectiveness of evidence-based strategies as well as the benefits drawn from partners combining their efforts to advance comprehensive cancer control services.

Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT)

PACT was established as part of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to help fight the growing cancer crisis in the developing world. The IAEA has over 40 years experience in supporting countries in applying nuclear technologies for health and prosperity. PACT works to improve IAEA Member States’ capacities to address the growing cancer burden through promoting the integration of radiotherapy technologies within a comprehensive national cancer control programme. PACT builds strong strategic partnerships, particularly with the World Health Organization, to provide equitable, affordable and quality access to cancer care for all cancer patients to the highest standards, everywhere.

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