15 May (NucNet): The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has conducted its first assessment of Afghanistan’s cancer care needs, a statement by the agency said.
According to the statement, the mission identified gaps in cancer diagnosis and treatment services, and recommended the government to improve its health care workforce and set up the country’s first radiotherapy centre.
The IAEA said the review was carried out at the request of the Afghan ministry of health and included experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC),
The review found that diagnostic services for cancer are available in public and private health systems, but the various activities are fragmented and not well coordinated.
The IAEA said diagnostic and treatment equipment is insufficient to cover the country’s needs and there is a significant lack of qualified medical personnel, such as pathologists, radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and technicians.
According to IARC, there were an estimated 20,000 cancer cases in Afghanistan in 2012, while the figure is expected to rise to almost 33,000 by 2030.