Database shows global disparity in access to cancer care: UN

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Demonstration of a patient set up for radiotherapy at the Vienna General Hospital in 2016. The IAEA promotes access to radiation therapy and its safe use. Photo: IAEA

A new and improved database highlighting the global disparity in access to cancer care has been made public, by the UN's nuclear energy agency (IAEA).

Since 1959, the IAEA has been collecting data on radiotherapy hospitals and clinics worldwide.

The Directory of Radiotherapy Centres or DIRAC was launched Wednesday.

Charles Appel has the story.

Most radiotherapy facilities in the world are located in high-income countries, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency or IAEA. 

But at least 36 nations do not have any such equipment to treat cancer. 

The database has information from 141 countries.

It has also been re-designed to be more user-friendly and to allow users to compare countries and regions. 

The data shows that despite efforts to improve the situation in recent decades, more needs to be done to provide adequate access to cancer care. 

Joanna Izewska of the IAEA says the database could be a "powerful tool" for planning radiotherapy services and for advocating better access to cancer treatment in developing countries. 

Charles Appel, United Nations. 

Duration: 52″


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