TadjikistanToday.Com (English) Every year, health professionals at the Republic's Scientific Oncology Center (RCCO) in Tajikistan face nearly 6,000 new cases of cancer, of which about 70% could be treated with radiotherapy. To relieve the RCCO and improve access to cancer treatment, a Technical Cooperation (TC) project underway as part of International Technical Cooperation (IAEA) is employing to improve radiotherapy services in the field. RCCO and inaugurates a new radiotherapy center in the northern province of Sughd, Dazhu Yang, Deputy Director General and Director of Technical Cooperation, visited Tajikistan in June to meet senior officials and monitor progress projects to develop and improve radiotherapy services in the country.
In 2014, a number of IAEA projects were implemented to improve the quality of cancer care in Tajikistan. As part of its technical cooperation program, the IAEA has financed the purchase of radiation therapy equipment while providing training in the latest dosimetry, safety and quality management methods.
Tajikistan is the second largest mountain country in the world. Due to its unique geographical location, access to health services for people living outside the capital, far from the only radiotherapy center in the country located in the CRCO, has always been a major challenge.
"Technical cooperation projects in the health sector account for almost 25% of the TC program and represent the largest disbursement of CT funds after projects related to food and agriculture. most of these health projects are focused on the fight against cancer, "said DDG Yang.
"The new radiotherapy service due to be inaugurated later this year marks an important step in Tajikistan's efforts to expand access to cancer care, but further efforts are needed to meet the challenge of malaria. access. "
To meet the challenge of access, a new project was launched in 2018 to support Tajikistan's efforts to build and equip a new radiation therapy department at Sughd Regional Center of Oncology in Khujand, about 300 kilometers from the capital.
"The main problem is the distance, housing and costs, which weigh heavily on the people of the North," said Ilkhom Mirsaidov, National Liaison Officer for Tajikistan. "At present, radiotherapy services are only available at the Oncology Science Center, RCCO.However, the RCCO devices were temporarily out of use because of High patient exposure Once operational in Khujand, the radiation therapy device will help reduce stress and improve access. "
As the radiotherapy department of the Sughd Regional Oncology Center is quite new, the IAEA has provided support from the beginning. In addition to the purchase of key equipment such as a new teletherapy unit, a traditional simulator and a treatment planning system, the IAEA has purchased quality assurance equipment, meters and dosimeters, as well as scholarships and scientific visits to facilitate training in accessing new technologies and methods of treatment. at the level. In addition, a series of expert missions were launched to advise Tajik colleagues on the installation and commissioning of the new equipment.
In addition, with the support of Armenian colleagues from the National Oncology Center in Yerevan, the agency organized five CT radiotherapy grants to ensure the availability of a team of highly qualified nurses at the inauguration of the center. radiotherapy.
Building on these efforts, the Deputy Executive Director reviewed proposals for a new quadrennial project for the period 2020-2021 to improve diagnostic radiology services and to increase the focus on cancer. in women. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide and cervical cancer is also common. In Tajikistan, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, breast cancer accounts for nearly 20% of all cancers in women.
Since May 2019, Tajik colleagues have been working on a project to support diagnostic imaging in oncology. The proposed project includes the design and establishment of a women's cancer treatment and diagnosis center, which should be housed in the existing facilities of the CRCO in Dushanbe. In addition, long-term research and imaging materials will be used to address the country's challenges in cancer treatment.