RADIATION therapy will be available for cancer treatment in the country next year, Papua New Guinea Health Minister Dr Lino Tom says.
He said through the support of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Papua New Guinea would benefit from a programme called “Rays of Hope” to ensure radiation therapy would be made widely available for cancer treatment.
In a statement following the 66th IAEA Annual Convention in Vienna, Austria, recently, Dr Tom said the partnership would also benefit other relevant areas like agriculture and climate change apart from health.
“By the end of 2023, we hope to fully establish a cancer centre here at the Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH),” he said.
“It requires a lot of expertise and finance and that’s where the IAEA will come on board to assist (They’ve also assisted us in so many areas).
“It requires a critical core comprising clinical experts to nuclear scientists and other technical areas and the task is daunting but the Marape-Rosso Government is focused on helping get this services off the ground to help our people.”
Dr Tom was invited along with Health secretary Dr Osborne Liko, PMGH chief executive Dr Paki Molume, Health deputy secretary Dr Gua Tau, clinical oncologists Dr Peter Olali and George Otto, to present the nation’s position on health and other sectors.
Dr Tom said he would sign the country programme framework 2022-2027 tomorrow, which would enable PNG to access help from IAEA over the next five years.
“Help for our cancer patients may not come overnight but surely, your government has set the wheels in motion through budgetary support and through bilateral programmes like this,” he said.
“Definitely we have ‘Rays of Hope’ coming our way.”
The National / PNG Health Watch
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