Cancer a "growing burden" on low- and middle-income countries: IAEA

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The IAEA Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy supports low and middle income countries in the implementation of comprehensive national cancer control programmes. Photo: IAEA

There is a need for more funding for cancer control initiatives in low- and middle-income countries to help them cope with the "growing burden" of the disease.

That was the starting point behind a meeting co-organized by the UN Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank, which concluded on Wednesday in Sudan.

Yashshri Soman has more details.

The meeting was opened by Sudan's Vice-President Hassabo Mohammed Abdalrahman. 

Funding proposals were presented by health and finance Ministers from 16 countries, to various development finance institutions, aimed at boosting national nuclear medicine and radiotherapy infrastructure – including through IAEA technical cooperation projects. 

Some of these proposals also specifically included provisions for cancer services to refugees, and increased funding to fight cervical cancer – a major killer of women worldwide. 

Experts from three Asian countries also shared their experiences in financing national cancer control programs. 

Other institutions present included the African Development Bank, the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Nelly Enwerem-Bromson, Director of the IAEA's Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy said that "this week we join forces to fight cancer and to address one of the biggest challenges: securing resources for affordable and effective cancer services."

"The rising tide of cancer calls for additional human and financial resources, as well as infrastructure", she added.

Since 2013, The Islamic Development Bank has committed $US100 million to strengthen diagnostic and treatment services for cancer.

Yashshri Soman, United Nations.

Duration: 1’21″

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