imPACT Mission to Tunisia Finds Major Advances and Strong Commitment to Cancer Control

04 November 2013

Upon the request of the Minister of Health, Dr Abdellatif Mekki, the IAEA Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) conducted a national cancer control assessment or imPACT mission in Tunisia from 7-11 October 2013. In collaboration with the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, the team included international experts in the area of cancer control planning, prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment, and palliative care.

Tunisia has made major advances in cancer control and has developed a National Strategy on Cancer Control covering a five-year period (2010-2014). The strategy includes plans for the expansion of health facilities in order to increase access to healthcare, as services are mainly concentrated in Tunis and coastal areas. During the mission, the team visited Tunis, Sousse and Sfax and met with health professionals from the Institute of Public Health, public and private hospitals, clinics and health centres, as well as various associations for the support of cancer patients and their families.

In view of the increasing number of cancer cases, the Government of Tunisia is strongly committed to reducing the cancer burden in the long term. The Minister of Health met with the team on the last day of the mission for a debriefing on the findings of the mission. He expressed his personal commitment in the fight against cancer and in taking appropriate action.

It is expected that the imPACT mission report and recommendations will provide guidance for the advancement of cancer control and expansion of cancer treatment facilities in the country.