Linear Accelerators could cut down cancer treatment cost in Africa

African Countries have been urged to jointly purchase cancer treatment machines, to facilitate healing for the rich and the poor suffering from the ailment.


Mr Miles Pomper, a Senior Fellow at Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, noted that bulk purchases of Linear Accelerators could cut down cost by 16 to 23 per cent.

Linear Accelerators
Linear Accelerators

He said the practice has been adopted by South African and Brazil.

Mr Pomper who described cancer as “ticking time bomb” noted that survival rates for many cancer patients are lower for Africans than those in the developed world because of the lack of cancer treatment machines.

He was speaking at an ongoing Nuclear Security and Non-Proliferation Capacity building Workshop for Sub-Sahara African Countries in Accra.

The 18 countries include Ghana, Nigerian and Tanzania.

The workshop organised for 40 participants is being held by African Centre for Sciences and International Security (AFRICSIS) and the James Martin Centre for Nonproliferation Studies in Washington.

The Senior Fellow observed that there is lack of attention paid to the disparity in cancer care in Africa and urged African governments to use better screening to improve radiotherapy treatment in Africa.

According to him it is important to reduce radiation in cancer treatment and improve on survival rates.

He said because cancer was not detected and diagnosed early in Africa, it is prudent to use new technology to improve the screening process.

Mr Pomper, who was speaking on the topic: “Alternatives to High Risk Radioactive Sources: the case of external cancer treatment,”; noted that Ghana has four Linear accelerators serving the entire nation.

According to him if countries are able to purchase more machines they could cooperate with manufacturers to support training of health personnel.

He urged countries to explore new funding sources for cancer treatment.

Mr Pomper asked the World Health Organisations, International Financial Institutions and the World Bank to direct more funding not to cancer prevention but its treatment.

Eleana Sokova, Deputy Director James Centre for Nonproliferation Studies, Washington, commended Ghana for establishing a Nuclear Security Centre.

According to her the workshop would follow up on nuclear security summit that was held for more than 50 countries in Washington two weeks ago.

Mr Hubert Foy, Director, AFRICSIS, said the workshop seeks to provide practitioners, scientists technicians with solid understanding of nuclear and non-proliferation regimes, policies as well as implementation challenges.

Mr Foy said it would also equip participants with knowledge and analytical tools that would enhance their ability to contribute to strengthen nuclear security system and non-proliferation regime at national, Regional and global levels.

The participants would also be taken through topics including: Peaceful uses of nuclear Technologies, Malicious Uses of Radioactive Sources and Consequences and the Role of International Atomic Energy Agency in strengthening nuclear security.

Other topics are Alternatives to High Risk Radiological Services and Management of Nuclear Security Culture.

Source: GNA

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