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Capacity building, education and training in radiation biology related to health

Global Noncommunicable Diseases Intiatives

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Directorate General for Co-operation and Development
Background: the successful applications of modern radiation medicine methodologies require an understanding of radiobiological principles. Technical failures of sophisticated radiation therapy equipment and ignorance of patient to complete therapy treatment in a fixed schemes present particular problems in developing countries. Workers in applied radiation technology sectors are often unaware of the inherent dangers to health from ionizing radiation and the consequences of first world technologies meeting with third world education are frequent. The development of health and economic growth of South Africa and surrounding countries is reliant on the expansion of radiation technologies in medicine and biosciences. In this respect South Africa fulfills a central role in the education of applied radiation technologies in the African region. To date many clinicians and practicing radiation medicine personnel travelled to South Africa for training as no capacity is present in their own regions. Ironically the radiobiology expertise in South Africa is very limited. During the last 10 years the radiobiological know-how in teaching hospitals did not follow the increase in number and sophistication of radiation instrumentation. The number of radiation biologists working in these teaching hospitals is far too limited. In fact, a total of 3 Radiation Biologists are working in South Africa. As a result, the most basic radiobiological principles in fractionated radiotherapy can only be taught to few radiation oncologists in South Africa and neighboring states. It is a matter of urgency for the society to disseminate the knowledge in radiation biology to more clinicians in radiotherapy, nuclear medicine, radiology and occupational health. For this capacity building a reference centre in the South is needed and urgent. General objective, developmental overall objective: improvement of health of African communities and benefits of radiation treatments using applied technologies. Academic overall objective: radiobiological know-how available to physicians, radiotherapy personnel. Specific objective, developmental specific objective: implementation of a North-South-South network to develop broad basic radiobiological know -how that will ensure the safe and efficient use of modern radiation medicine technologies that is integral to the health care. Results related to research: knowledge transfer between North and South and implementation of collaborative research in radiation medicine applications. Results related to capacity building and extension: the establishment of a network of participating centres that have a working knowledge in radiation biology (this will consist of the North coordinator, the South reference centre and other collaborating centres in the South); the establishment of well- trained personnel in the South with a sound understanding of radiation biology; the establishment of a properly equipped radiation biology centre. . This project was identified by RTI International for their own research purposes and some fields do not align with The GO Map categories. End dates were estimated as one year after the start date. The Project Type "Research, Clinical" may not accurately describe this project's focus but was used for all RTI International's Global Noncommunicable Diseases Initiative projects added in June 2018. Specialties were not analyzed. All project funding was valued in 2015 USD.

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