The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has lamented the lack of a single radiotherapy machine for cancer treatment in 28 African countries.
Yukiya Amano, Director-General of IAEA, said millions of people continued to suffer from cancer in developing countries, due to lack of access to effective prevention, screening, early diagnosis and treatment.
Amano, spoke at a World Cancer Day event held at the Agency’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
“Twenty-eight African countries do not have a single radiotherapy machine”, he said.
“The IAEA will continue to work hard to change that, and to improve facilities in other regions of the world where the need is also great.
“We will strive to continuously improve the services we offer our Member States so they can provide better care – and hope – for their people”, he added.
He noted that addressing the challenges confronting the developing world would remain a priority for the agency.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and eight million cancer-related deaths annually.
Observed every year on February 4, World Cancer Day aims to raise awareness on the broad class of disease which can affect any part of the body.
This year, the observation includes a discussion on applications of nuclear techniques in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer, as well as one on importance of multidisciplinary team for optimal cancer care.
The commemoration being held at the Vienna International Centre Rotunda, includes a “health fair” showcasing a variety of information and services including detection of various types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colon, and skin cancer.