IAEA’s Grossi examines collaboration with World Bank and IDB on health and climate change

IAEA’s Grossi examines collaboration with World Bank and IDB on health and climate change



Stepping up the fight against the growing burden of cancer – especially in countries with little or no access to potentially life-saving treatments – is a priority area in which the IAEA seeks to establish new partnerships to further strengthen its detection and treatment work. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 10 million deaths were due to cancer in 2020, most of which occurred in low and middle-income countries.

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Stepping up the fight against the growing burden of cancer – especially in countries with little or no access to potentially life-saving treatments – is a priority area in which the IAEA seeks to establish new partnerships to further strengthen its detection and treatment work. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 10 million deaths were due to cancer in 2020, most of which occurred in low and middle-income countries.

More than half of all cancer patients need radiation therapy as part of their treatment, and it is widely used to treat the most common types, such as breast, cervical, colon, and lung cancers. However, access to radiotherapy is inadequate and many countries in sub-Saharan Africa do not.

“It is unacceptable that so many people in Africa and elsewhere still do not have adequate access to the medical expertise, equipment and services that can save countless lives,” said Grossi. “We urgently need to correct this sad state of affairs, which causes immeasurable – and often avoidable – suffering.”

In collaboration with partners such as the WHO, the IAEA is helping countries develop comprehensive cancer control plans and safely set up and use radiation and nuclear medicine services. It also helps in creating the feasibility or “bankable” documents required to receive donor funding. These documents describe the infrastructure, training, and equipment requirements of a cancer care facility.

“Nuclear techniques such as radiation therapy are critical to both detecting and treating the disease in a timely manner. The IAEA has the expertise to make a very real change for the better in this regard. With additional resources, we could significantly expand our activities aimed at delivering cancer care to those who need it most, ”said Grossi.

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