India Donates Teletherapy Unit to Fight Cancer in Vietnam

Equipment Delivered Through PACT

28 May 2010

As part of its partnership with Vietnam in the fight to control cancer, India today donated a teletherapy unit to Vietnam through the IAEA's Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).

The unit, named Bhabhatron Teletherapy Unit, will be housed in the Can Tho Oncology Hospital, Vietnam. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the teletherapy unit, IAEA Deputy Director General for Nuclear Sciences and Applications Werner Burkart called the donation “a great step forward in cancer control in the region.”

Can Tho Oncology Hospital, which serves the cancer treatment needs of nearly 20 million people living in the region, previously had no radiotherapy capacity to treat cancer patients. The new Bhabhatron Teletherapy Unit will now make radiotherapy accessible to patients in Can Tho and the surrounding region. Can Tho is the largest city in the Mekong Delta, with a population of over 1 million.

Cancer causes an estimated 12% of the total annual deaths in Vietnam. Like many developing countries, Vietnam faces the challenge of dealing with increasing number of cancer cases and a limited provision of radiotherapy - a mainstay treatment for over 50% of the cancer patients in high-income countries.

At the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Burkart expressed his deep appreciation to the government of India for the donation and to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific Region for its extensive co-operation with IAEA and PACT.

Controlling cancer has been named a national priority by the Ministry of Public Health in Vietnam and the Vietnam Atomic Energy Commission. Through collaboration with the IAEA's Technical Cooperation programme, approximately $3.6 million in funding has been delivered as assistance to help control cancer the region.