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Fiji Time: 8:15 PM on Thursday 21 August

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Tumor unit boost

Ropate Valemei
Thursday, October 25, 2012

GOOD news for cancer patients in Fiji.

The Ministry of Health is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international donors to build an Oncology Unit in Fiji.

Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said the high incidence of cancer in Fiji prompted the ministry to work towards treating some serious cases of cancer.

He said this advancement was a result of Fiji's membership of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

"We became a member in September this year at the United Nation meeting. We are fully endorsed as a member of this agency," Dr Sharma said.

He said the agency would send a fact finding mission here to assess the incidence of cancer in the country. IAEA, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, is the world's centre of co-operation in the nuclear field, works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology with 151 member States.

In response to the developing world's growing cancer crisis, the IAEA had, in 2004, established the Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).

Dr Sharma said the incidence of cancer, which was the third leading cause of death in Fiji after diseases of the circulatory system and endocrine diseases, had increased from 58 per 100,000 in 2000 to 133 per 100,000 in 2010 with females at higher risk than males.

"They will come in and do a fact finding mission whilst WHO will set up a computer proper database on the incidence of cancer in Fiji," he said.


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