International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Human Health

From 19th to 20th September 2017, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) held its Annual Scientific Forum that focused on Nuclear Techniques in Human Health: Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment in Vienna (Austria). To draw attention to the important use of nuclear science and technology and the IAEA’s role in this field May Abdel-Wahab, Director, IAEA Division of Human Health explains how this technology can benefit human health.

The field of medicine has seen unique advances over the last century — among them is the discovery of radiation and radionuclides for use in medicine.

This has led to more diversified and effective prevention, diagnostic and treatment options for many health conditions. Diseases like cancer can now be diagnosed earlier and treated more effectively with the help of nuclear techniques, thus giving more patients a fighting chance and, for many, a significant chance for a cure. Nevertheless, the increasing number of people each year affected by non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer and neurological and cardiovascular disorders, places great pressure on healthcare systems and leaders worldwide to provide effective solutions, even though the resources to diagnose and treat these conditions may be scarce, or often not available.

The IAEA programme in human health contributes to the many ongoing global efforts to address these health challenges and enhance capabilities in Member States.

The Human Health Programme provides a comprehensive approach to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NCDs in four main areas of support: nutrition; diagnosis and follow-up; radiation oncology and radiotherapy; and quality assurance. Together, they contribute to the achievement of Goal 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — good health and well-being.

Read the whole article here.

What does the IAEA do?

The International Atomic Energy Agency is the world’s central intergovernmental forum for scientific and technical co-operation in the nuclear field. It works for the safe, secure and peaceful uses of nuclear science and technology, contributing to international peace and security and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. For more information please click here.

Which functions does the IAEA fulfil regarding human health?

The IAEA’s aim is to help build Member States’ capacities to support them in establishing high-quality health care worldwide. Since the IAEA began its work in human health over 50 years ago, the use of nuclear techniques in medicine and nutrition has become one of the most widespread peaceful applications of atomic energy. The IAEA assists Member States with the coordination of research projects, expert guidance, equipment, the development of internationally harmonized guidelines, training and knowledge exchange. Its support ranges from nutrition interventions to cancer diagnosis and treatment, to quality assurance for the use of radiation in medicine for safe and accurate treatment of conditions such as cancer.

Find more information on the functions of the IAEA regarding human health in the list below:

Further interesting links

Published in GI-Mail 10/2017 (English edition). Sign up for GI-Mail here.  

Tip: More up to date educational events can be found online in the Education Database »medicine & health«.

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