The Sovereign Order of Malta signed a high-level cooperation agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the area of “Atoms for Health” and international cancer therapy.
The document was signed by the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the United Nations in Vienna Günther A. Granser and by the IAEA Director-General, Rafael Mariano Grossi, who stressed the importance of this agreement. The signing ceremony took place in the presence of all concerned programme directors, on the margins of the 64th IAEA General Conference, at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, on 23 September 2020.
The agreement establishes the framework for collaboration on outreach and resource mobilization related to IAEA-supported activities in nuclear medicine, radiation medicine, radiation oncology, radiotherapy and palliative care. “These concrete steps of cooperation with the Agency in the battle against cancer, particularly in Albania, will further enhance the relations between the Sovereign Order of Malta and the Agency to support the advancement of cancer control in low- and middle-income countries,” said Ambassador Granser.
As a concrete step, the Order of Malta has offered financial support to an IAEA technical cooperation project aimed at enhancing nuclear medicine and radiotherapy and improving patient and staff safety at Albania’s main hospital. “This support enables the hospital to provide treatment for 1,350 cancer patients per year, representing 90 per cent of all treated radiotherapy patients in Albania,” said Christoph Henrich, the IAEA Programme Management Officer for Albania. “Support in the introduction of new techniques allow now for the treatment of more complex cancer cases and reduced treatment waiting times.”