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Training underway in Accra on addressing shortage of nuclear imaging medical physicists

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Science Nuclear Imaging
Science Nuclear Imaging

A clinical fellowship in nuclear medicine, aimed to address the shortage of imaging medical physicists in Africa, is underway in Accra.

The six-month fellowship, which opened on April 3 and expected to end on October 3, 2023, has eight participants from five African countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, and Tanzania.

A study conducted by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Federation of African Medical Physicists Organisation (FAMPO) revealed that Africa had only 200 imaging medical physicists instead of the more than 4,000 needed to serve the continent.

The fellowship, thus, aims at strengthening and sustaining medical imaging services in Africa through academic education programmes and clinical training, as well as effective diagnostic and interventional radiological practices to ensure healthy lives and wellbeing of everyone.

It is sponsored by the International Atomic Energy Agency and hosted by the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) as well as the Nuclear Medicine Department of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital.

It comes on the heels of the maiden fellowship held in 2021, a statement issued by the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission, copied to the Ghana News Agency, said on Tuesday.

Alhough there were medical physicists at the radiotherapy centres in 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 of nuclear medicine and diagnostic radiological centres.

The participants would be taken through 10 key areas: 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.
Professor Francis Hasford, the Director of RAMSRI at GAEC, is the project consultant while Dr Theophilus Sackey is the fellowship supervisor.

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