Health Minister Supports Tanzania's Efforts to Train Cancer Specialists

Armen Hareyan's picture
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The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, today announced that Canada's New Government would contribute $150,000 for the training of cancer specialists in Tanzania.

The Minister's announcement came during a visit to the Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Dar es Salaam, which is Tanzania's only cancer treatment centre. With a population of 38.3 million people, and an estimated 20,000 new cases of cancer every year, patient demand for cancer therapy in Tanzania far exceeds available services.

"By collaborating with the international community and the private sector, Canada is making a difference abroad by contributing to the training of cancer specialists in Tanzania," said Minister Clement.

The one-time contribution of $150,000 will support professional training for cancer care and capacity building in Tanzania. The funding will be provided through the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), an initiative of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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In addition, the Ocean Road Cancer Institute has recently received an Equinox cancer therapy machine donated by MDS Nordion, a private Canadian company.

"We're pleased to see this kind of collaboration from the Canadian private sector," said Minister Clement. "The PACT funds will help train the staff to properly operate this cancer radiation therapy machine, which will make a dramatic difference in efforts to fight cancer in Tanzania."

The Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) was established in 2004 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to control cancer in low and middle income countries. In addition to Health Canada, other partners in PACT include the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and various private sector companies. Tanzania has been selected to develop centres of excellence to benefit from PACT's support.

Minister Clement's visit to Tanzania also included overviews of several initiatives supported by Canada, such as the Mennonite Economic Development Association's Bed Net project, which is distributing mosquito bed nets to help prevent malaria, and the Marie Stopes Tanzania Reproductive Health Clinic. He will also learn about Tanzania's Essential Health Interventions system.

Canada and Tanzania have a long history of development cooperation. Since the late 1960s, Canada has contributed over $1 billion to a broad range of initiatives in sectors. The Canadian International Development Agency program in Tanzania aims to support poverty reduction by focusing on education, health and HIV/AIDS, democratic governance and private sector development, while ensuring that equality between women and men and environmental sustainability are incorporated at all levels.

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