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From Plans to Action: PACT and Partners Strengthen Yemen's Cancer Planning

During a meeting held from 10-12 February, the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) met with health professionals from Yemen in Cairo, Egypt to set priority actions in cancer control for Yemen to pursue in the next five years.

Major outcomes and priorities from the meeting include the establishment and strengthening of cancer registries in Sana’a, strategies for earlier diagnosis of breast cancer, bolstering of radiation medicine capacity and formation of palliative care facilities at the National Oncology Center. Each of these components are expected to receive priority attention by national health authorities in the coming half-decade and may be supported by the IAEA, WHO and IARC.

“PACT’s cancer planning workshop with Yemen was considerably enhanced through the active participation and input from two of our main partners, WHO and IARC,” said Dana Sacchetti, Country Liaison Officer within the IAEA/PACT Programme Office. “Through robust and consistent inter-agency collaboration, Yemen can benefit from technical support to plan appropriate and strategic actions to fight cancer at the national level.”

Yemen is one of eight PACT Model Demonstration Sites (PMDS), countries in which PACT and partners support the development of evidence-based strategies and active partnerships to advance comprehensive cancer capacity building. Classified as a lower-middle income country by the World Bank, Yemen faces a rising incidence of cancer with very limited resources to tackle the disease. The population of Yemen is afflicted by an estimated 10,000 cancer cases each year, with breast cancer being the most incident cancer. In addition to support received at the cancer planning workshop, Yemen is expected to participate in further PACT-facilitated training opportunities throughout 2013.

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