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Guyana Plans to Increase Access to Cancer Services, in Line with IAEA Recommendations

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The multidisciplinary expert team visited the capital Georgetown, as well as New Amsterdam, Linden and Port Maurant, to collect data, observe clinical and health system practices and assess the situation first-hand in both urban and peri-urban settings, as part of an imPACT Review mission.

They reviewed all areas of comprehensive cancer control, from prevention to palliative care, as well as the cancer registration and surveillance system, and the national cancer control planning and governance measures.

While cancer diagnosis and treatment services are currently limited to the capital, the experts acknowledged the government’s progress in establishing a good health care infrastructure, which forms a basis for the expansion of diagnostic and laboratory facilities, as well as for treatment centres outside of Georgetown.

They suggested the promulgation of the national Nuclear Law that would provide a basis for the legal and regulatory framework on radiation safety and security; designation of an independent regulatory body and recruitment of a sufficient number of qualified staff.

The PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana, William Adu-Krow said: “It is clear that more cancer control services are needed. Radiation therapy in the country is only offered at the private Cancer Institute of Guyana. Radiotherapy is therefore accessible to only a small fraction of patients. Most cancer surgeries and chemotherapy are currently performed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation, with limited surgical capacity at the five regional hospitals located across the country.”

The imPACT mission to Guyana was the 95th conducted by the IAEA since 2005.