Vienna, 10 June 2022 (TDI): The Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, had an important meeting with the Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC), Ali Raza Anwar.

The discussion focused on the Pakistan Nuclear Program’s current status and nuclear science’s role in cancer care, along with other applications in the healthcare sector.

According to the sources, both organizations are leveraging the gap in using the civilian nuclear programs for cancer treatment under the flagship program ‘Rays of Hope” to ensure the #CancerCare4All scheme.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is the pioneer in constructing and operating the civil nuclear power plants in the Muslim majority world. The Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) oversees the operations of these power plants.

Usage of Nuclear Technology to Treat Cancer in Pakistan

China is supporting Pakistan in strengthening its civil nuclear resources. Currently, Pakistan has six operable reactors for energy production.

Non-communicable diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders, and cardiac dysfunction are one of the leading health emergencies in Pakistan.

According to the statistics by WHO, nearly 1.5 million cancer patients live in Pakistan. In addition, 150,000 patients are increased each year.

Subsequently, PAEC currently provides state-of-the-art treatment and diagnostic facilities in nineteen hospitals across Pakistan at subsidized rates.

Similarly, the organization is also involved in spreading national cancer awareness and prevention programs.

IAEA’s Role in Cancer Care

Since 2018, IAEA has been helping to enhance the capacities of cancer treatment in the country. IAEA has extended its full support to enhance the scope of radiopharmaceuticals in Pakistan.

Also, relevant training and materials are provided to the radioulnar facilities staff in Lahore and Abbottabad under IAEA’s technical cooperation program.

Necessary equipment needs assessments, and on-the-job training is provided to the team to enhance the scope of services.

In addition, IAEA is actively assisting countries with applying nuclear science and technology in essential healthcare services.

Earlier, in a video message at the 75th World Health Assembly, IAEA Director-General affirmed IAEA’s continued close cooperation with World Health Organization (WHO) in areas such as cancer, nutrition, and zoonotic diseases.

Furthermore, the IAEA Chief also emphasized collaborative measures to eradicate global inequity in access to cancer care.

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