Kenya is one of seven African countries scheduled to profit from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s initiative to provide life-saving nuclear medicine and radiation to the continent (IAEA).
The program intends to assist African countries in addressing the lack of cancer care capacity in the continent’s ongoing efforts to minimize cancer-related mortality.
This comes after the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the African Union (AU) agreed on Friday to renew and deepen their cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear technology to address climate change, disease detection and treatment, food security, and other development challenges in Africa.
Other beneficiaries include; Benin, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Malawi, and Senegal.
Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi announced the IAEA’s Rays of Hope initiative, on the eve of African heads of state summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Friday.
“Around half of all cancer patients need radiotherapy, but only one in ten patients in low and middle-income countries can access treatment. The IAEA is creating a new initiative to change that by launching to help countries provide Cancer Care for all,” Grossi said.
“Even relatively small investments – setting up and operating a radiotherapy unit able to treat 500 patients per year can cost US$7.5 million – will make a significant difference in a country’s capacity to offer adequate cancer care to its people” he added
The event was attended by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo and Ambassador Jean Kamau.
The event was co-hosted by Senegal’s President Macky Sall, the incoming Chairperson of the African Union.
Moussa Faki Mahamat of the African Union Commission (AUC) addressed the meeting which was also attended by Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera.
The event was held during World Cancer Day, an international day marked on February 4, to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment.