Government says it’s working towards implementing a cost sharing plan with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to procure equipment needed for nuclear medicine applications.
Speaking in Vienna Austria, Minister of Science and Technology Felix Mutati said Government has noted a need to improve the provision of health services using nuclear techniques in the country hence the decision to implement a cost sharing plan with IAEA.
“The Zambian government is working towards implementing a cost sharing plan with the IAEA to procure equipment needed for the expanded nuclear medicine applications and improve the provision of health services using nuclear techniques in the country,” Mr Mutati said.
He added that Government has recognised the need to control cancer using the primary health care approach to achieve universal health coverage.
And that it is for this reason Government has developed the second National Cancer Control Strategy Plan 2022-2026.
He further added that the strategic plan will be the basis for national response to the burden of cancer.
“In the last 15 years of providing radiotherapy services in Zambia, 33,000 new cancer patients have been attended to while the Cancer Diseases Hospital currently sees about 3,000 new cancer patients in a year,” he said.
Mr. Mutati added that in the last three years, Zambia has faced challenges in sustaining radiotherapy services because of old and obsolete equipment.
He further added that the number of patients accessing radiotherapy has reduced as a result of this situation
And that it is for this reason government has prioritized revamping Cancer Diseases Hospital radiotherapy section.
“We have since officially requested to be considered on the Rays of Hope Project of the IAEA. We further informed the conference that Zambia is completing the bankable document on the replacement and refurbishment of radiotherapy equipment which is being reviewed by the Agency,” he said.
Mr Mutati added that he is hopeful that this document will be used to guide the Rays of Hope assistance that is targeted for Zambia.
The Minister of Science and Technology Mr. Felix Mutati is in Vienna, Austria attending the 66th regular session of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 2022 general conference.