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IAEA Joins Forces with GE HealthCare to Strengthen Cancer Care in Developing Countries

New York, United States

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi signed an extension of an in-kind contribution for clinical education in developing countries with GE HealthCare President and CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa Rob Walton. (Frerik Dahl/IAEA)

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed two collaboration agreements with GE HealthCare today as part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen cancer diagnosis and treatment capacity in low- and middle-income countries. GE HealthCare has agreed to contribute $50 000 of in-kind training as well as practical arrangements to further support the IAEA’s Rays of Hope initiative to combat a disease that kills millions of people every year.

IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, who launched Rays of Hope in early 2022, signed an extension of an in-kind contribution for clinical education in developing countries with GE HealthCare President and CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa Rob Walton. This agreement builds upon an existing successful collaboration launched in 2022. Director General Grossi also signed a three-year practical arrangement with GE HealthCare to strengthen cooperation in the area of cancer control in low-and middle-income countries in the framework of Rays of Hope.

The documents were signed at the IAEA office in New York on the side-lines of the seventy-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly, which Director General Grossi is attending

These collaborations are the latest in a series of IAEA agreements with key stakeholders – both in the public and private sector – to help amplify the Agency’s work on tackling a major cancer care gap in many countries, where people often die from the disease because they lack access to potentially life-saving diagnostic and therapeutic infrastructure.

“I’m very encouraged by the progress we are already seeing under the IAEA’s Rays of Hope initiative and the considerable interest it is attracting, with several leading companies such as GE HealthCare cooperating with us to address a growing cancer burden around the world,” Director General Grossi said. “I’m grateful for their support, which will help save lives.”

“The shortage of healthcare workers is an omnipresent concern. This is particularly true for oncology in developing countries, where access to care, innovation and know-how need to be urgently improved. We are very proud to support the IAEA in its Rays of Hope initiative, by making clinical training available to nuclear medicine and radiology practitioners from low- and middle-income countries,” said Rob Walton, President and CEO EMEA, GE HealthCare. “We are grateful for and excited about the launch of our broader collaboration on Rays of Hope today.”

Under the agreed practical arrangements, the IAEA and GE HealthCare will continue to work together on enhancing the capacities of developing countries to establish or strengthen safe and effective radiation medicine capabilities for cancer diagnosis and treatment. In particular, the parties intend to cooperate in awareness raising, education and training, and research and knowledge sharing.

Rays of Hope builds on the IAEA’s six decades of experience and expertise in nuclear science to diagnose and treat different types of tumours. It aims to mobilize financial resources and partners and to galvanize political will to step up the fight against a scourge killing many who could have been successfully treated with modern medical technology.

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Last update: 19 Sep 2023

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