The International Atomic Energy Agency Helps Uganda Restart Vital Radiotherapy Services for Cancer Patients

Uganda today inaugurated a new radiotherapy machine to resume essential treatment services for cancer patients after the country’s only previous such equipment broke down in 2016. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) provided technical and financial support for the re-establishment of radiotherapy services in Uganda.

Responding to a Government request, the IAEA helped buy the new equipment and ensure its safe installation at the Uganda Cancer Institute in the capital Kampala. IAEA assistance totalling more than € 500,000 included the decommissioning of the old radiotherapy machine and the purchase of a new one on a cost-sharing basis with the Government. The IAEA also provided advice in adapting the existing facility to accommodate the new machine and training for medical staff.

“The restoration of life-saving cancer treatment services in Uganda is a major cause for celebration,” IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said at the inauguration event in Kampala, attended also by senior Ugandan officials. “The IAEA is proud to have been your partner.”

The new Cobalt-60 machine offers patients more precise and efficient treatment. It will complement the existing brachytherapy service at the Uganda Cancer Institute to offer treatment to women suffering from gynaecological cancer.

“The use of radiotherapy in Africa is slowly gaining momentum,” said Dr Jackson Orem, Director of the Uganda Cancer Institute. “The breakdown of the radiotherapy machine in Uganda is an example of the challenges to be considered while expanding access to treatment. However, the collaborative handling of this crisis with the IAEA and the lessons learnt have shown how to turn a misfortune into an opportunity.”

Like many low- and middle-income countries, Uganda faces a growing burden of chronic diseases such as cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer estimates that the East African nation has nearly 30,000 new cancer cases per year. The number of annual cancer-related deaths exceeds 20,000. Breast and gynaecological cancers are responsible for over 40 per cent of all female cases, while prostate cancer accounts for 20 per cent of male occurrences. These types of cancers can effectively be treated with radiotherapy.

“A key role of the IAEA is to help countries use nuclear science and technology to support their socio-economic development in areas where nuclear applications have a comparative advantage,” Amano said. “We have provided training to many Ugandan medical professionals, and appreciate the effective collaboration between the Government and the IAEA in cancer control.”

Amano attended the inauguration during a 17-20 January visit to Uganda, where he also met with President Yoweri Museveni and Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to discuss IAEA Technical Cooperation projects and other areas of mutual interest.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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United Kingdom International Secretary visits Kenya to discuss UK-Kenya partnership

Britain’s Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt, is in Kenya for a two day visit to discuss greater UK-Kenya cooperation on economic growth and investment.

The Secretary of State, who oversees the UK’s development aid, will hold meetings with members of national government and visit businesses here in Kenya. Ms Mordaunt will discuss priority areas of mutual interest including opportunities to boost economic development and improve quality and access to services. The UK is supporting Kenya’s economic development, for the benefit of Kenyans, and with the aim of reducing dependency on aid.

As well as meeting leaders and businesses, the International Development Secretary will also have an opportunity to visit UK aid funded projects in Northern Kenya, where the UK is helping some of the poorest and most vulnerable Kenyans. She will meet with people benefiting from the Hunger Safety Net Programme and a UNICEF clinic delivering emergency nutrition. Ms Mordaunt will also hold meetings with County Government officials and explore opportunities for building stronger systems to enable the county to deal with shocks and reduce dependence on donor emergency aid.

Speaking on arrival, the International Development Secretary said: “I will be seeing first-hand how UK aid is saving lives and delivering a shared prosperous future for the UK and Kenya. The country is a key bilateral partner for the UK, and I look forward to continuing to working with the Government of Kenya.”

This is the first official visit to Kenya by the International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, since she was appointed to this role in November 2017.

Notes to the Editors:

Penny Mordaunt was appointed Secretary of State for International Development on 9 November 2017. She was the Minister of State for Disabled People at the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions from 15 July 2016 to 9 November 2017. Ms Mordaunt was elected Conservative MP for Portsmouth North in 2010.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of British High Commission Nairobi.

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South Africa: President Zuma Congratulates Reserve Bank Governor Mr. Kganyago

President Jacob Zuma has congratulated the Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Mr. Lesetja Kganyago on his appointment as the new chairperson of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC).

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world.

“The appointment of Mr. Kganyago is a milestone in our call for the inclusion of representation of expertise and leadership from emerging and developing economies in the global economic arena,” said President Zuma.

“We wish Governor Kganyago success in his new role and we are confident that he will represent us well. He is equal to the task,” said President Zuma.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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The 2017 Rugby Season was quite eventful, ushering in a new Nigeria Rugby Football Federation Board headed by Mr. Kelechukwu Mbagwu

Early in 2017, The Lagos League started with 8 teams in two divisions of 4 teams a piece. However, the Rugby Federation elections took center stage with after effects of a suspension on Nigeria by Rugby Afrique.

The newly elected board got down to work immediately by bringing all rugby stakeholders together and started meaningful rugby activities, working also with Rugby Afrique towards lifting the self-imposed suspension on Nigeria.

Their first outing was in the National Junior Festival hosted by Kwara State where Rugby featured for the first time as a Demonstration event receiving huge praise and encouragement from the Honourable Minister of Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung.

The Gosar Sevens Rugby Tournament at Ajegunle was used as a qualifier to select the three Lagos teams namely Cowrie RFC, Racing RFC & Dragon RFC to compete in the prestigious Independence Sevens Rugby Tournament.

Kano Sevens took centre stage to select the first set of northern representatives namely Barewa RFC of Kano and Sabongeri RFC of Zaria, for the Lagos Rugby Sevens Tournament with the second qualifiers in Zaria, which produced the 3rd team Nasarawa RFC.

Delta RFC and Warri RFC joined from South South, while Abia Warriors came in from the South East region and the Kwara Rugby team got a wild card to complete the 10 domestic teams who were joined by Merlin’s RFC from England and the defending champions Samurai Baracudas RFC who successfully defended their trophy in style at the prestigious Lagos Polo Club lush green turf.

Preceding the Independence Sevens Rugby Tournament was the three days Rugby Referees Training Course conducted by the World Rugby Educators and International Referees from Zimbabwe. This was very helpful towards upgrading our officiating standards and saw one of our domestic referees Mohamed Salisu officiate the final match between Cowrie Rugby Club and Samurai Barraccudas with assistance from the two international referees from Zimbabwe and England.

The Independence Sevens Rugby Tournament witnessed the return of Women Rugby, which was won by Edo Female rugby team and the introduction of the School Boys U15 version won by Kano Schools after a pulsating final match with Edo Schools.

The South West Rugby League second phase, which was suspended during the elections then resumed in November and ended in December with the last three set of matches played at the National Institute for Sports pitch in Lagos. The league had two Divisions with four teams each and six matches played by each team bringing it to a total of 48 matches in all.

Defending champions Cowrie RFC won Division One followed by Police RFC, Racing RFC came third and last was Lagos RFC who also got relegated, swapping position with Division 2 winners Gosar RFC who gained promotion to Division One for the 2018 National Rugby League.

In second position in Division 2 was Panthers RFC, followed by Eco 2 RFC and Dragons RFC came last and lost their place in the forth coming 2018 National Rugby League.

There were two sets of Beach Rugby Tournaments namely the Oniru Beach Rugby Tournament debuting for the first time and the traditional SandeeBeach TarkwaBay Rugby Tournament held at TarkwaBay Beach in Lagos. Both were won by Cowrie RFC.

Eco 2 RFC hosted a Schools Rugby Tournament at their Navy Town home ground featuring 12 schools in Lagos.

2017 Rugby Season rounded off with a Beginners Rugby Coaching Course with participants from 31 States of the Federation in attendance at the High Performance Training Center at Abuja National Stadium.

Meanwhile, in adherence to Rugby Africa request for good governance, the present board led by Mbagwu has just acquired a new office for a professional administration of the game in Nigeria going forward called “Rugby House”.

Also, an all inclusive Constitution of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation ( is in its draft stage, which will soon be presented for approval at the Extraordinary General Assembly early in 2018 in compliance with the Federal Ministry of Youth & Sports and Nigeria Olympic Committee requirement from all National Sports Federation.

From the recently completed beginners coaching course, it is promising that rugby activities will soon spread to new states of the federation in 2018.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF).

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