INCREASING ROLE OF NUCLEAR MEDICINE IN SECURING PUBLIC HEALTHCARE IN TANZANIA

In Tanzania, there are only two cancer treatment centers to serve the entire population of 55 million people. These two clinics have capacity to serve only about 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 new cancer cases each year. For many of the patients who manage to receive treatment, their cancers have already metastasized to the point that administering palliative care becomes the only remaining option.
Such a tragic tendency can be considerably leveled down by nuclear medicine and development of special centers of isotope production for local hospitals.Today, with the help of IAEA Tanzanian doctorscan deliver more precise radiation treatment for cancer patients. Following training and support from the IAEA in 3D radiotherapy planning, patients will have access to more effective and safer cancer care.
“It is very important to be as accurate as possible when irradiating a tumour,” says Mark Mseti, oncologist from Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Tanzania. “The concept of target volume definition and contouring is about making sure that the radiation we use is actually focusing on the disease and not on the healthy tissue. If you can obtain accuracy in drawing, or contouring, the tumour, you will have a higher probability of targeting and obtaining the goals of treatment, while sparing as much of the healthy, normal tissues as you can.”
The IAEA supports its Member States, like Tanzania, in working to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases like cancer. To this end, the IAEA offers training, coordinates research, provides equipment and technical expertise and hosts scientific fellows, among other services. Like Tanzania, many low and middle income countries are only beginning or planning to begin using 3D cancer treatment tools.
In 2016 IAEA and Russian State Nuclear Company Rosatom signed the Agreement on Extrabudgetary Contribution for implementation of the Program of Action for Cancer Therapy.This is one of most demanded non-energy programs of the IAEA technical cooperation. It has been implemented since 2004 and aims at enhancing the potential of the IAEA Member States for countering cancer. The program provides for fundraising and implementation of corresponding projects in Member States, including Tanzania. 
Tanzanian own experience in the nuclear medicine will help to prevent the majority of cancer cases, as early scanning and tumor detection can save thousands of lives.

Post a Comment
Powered by Blogger.