A clinical fellowship in nuclear medicine to address the shortage of Imaging Medical Physicists in Africa opened in Accra on Tuesday.
The six-month fellowship that would end on October 3, 2023, brings together eight participants from five African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, and Tanzania.
The maiden edition of the fellowship was held in 2021.
The fellowship is sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and hosted by the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) and the Nuclear Medicine Department of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.
A statement issued by the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission said a study conducted by the IAEA and the Federation of African Medical Physicists Organization (FAMPO) revealed that Africa had only 200 imaging medical physicists instead of the more than 4,000 needed to serve the continent.
It noted that though there were medical physicists at the Radiotherapy Centres in the member states of the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development, and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA), the same could not be said for Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Radiological Centres.
The fellowship aims to strengthen and sustain medical imaging services in Africa through academic education programs and clinical training, and effective diagnostic and interventional radiological practices.
The participants would be taken through 10 key areas including clinical awareness, performance testing of imaging equipment, radiation protection and safety, dosimetry instrumentation and calibration, and patient radiation dose audit.
The rest are image quality assessment, optimization of clinical procedures, technological management in nuclear medicine, radioactivity measurements and internal dosimetry, and performance testing of nuclear medicine equipment.
Prof. Francis Hasford, the Director of RAMSRI at GAEC, is the project consultant while Dr. Theophilus Sackey is the fellowship supervisor.