World Cancer Day

Ambassador Davies reiterated U.S. support for the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapies (PACT) during an event in the VIC Rotunda on World Cancer Day, February 4.

Cancer claims more lives annually than TB, malaria and AIDS combined, and it is the third leading cause of death in the developing world.   Treatment and life-extending therapies are largely inaccessible to most victims due to a lack of infrastructure, human resources, and inadequate national health policies.

The Program of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) is the IAEA’s effort to address this scourge.  PACT´s mission is to improve cancer survival in developing countries by integrating radiotherapy investments (equipment and training) into public health systems.

IAEA Director General Amano opened the February 4 event by underlining the IAEA’s commitment, as well as his personal commitment, to help improve cancer control and therapy in developing countries.

Ambassador Davies told the audience that as part of the United States’ continuing support for PACT, the US would provide a Cost Free Expert (CFE) in the form of a Medical Economist.

The USG has been a supporter of PACT since its inception in 2004, contributing $330,000 at start-up to launch PACT.  Additional cash contributions and cost-free experts bring US contributions to over $1.2 million through 2006.

Recently, the United States provided $750,000 for a three-year project to establish Regional Cancer Training Networks and a Virtual University for Cancer Control – regional centers for multidisciplinary cancer control training within each global geographic region.

The US views PACT as a model of how the IAEA should promote the peaceful use of nuclear technology in a results-based manner that focuses on cost effectiveness and building sustainable partnerships between recipient countries and donors.