Nine Medical Physicists have completed a six-month fellowship programme in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine at the Ghana Atomic Energy Commission (GAEC) in Accra, Ghana.
The participants were from Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe, and the programme was under the tutelage of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI) of GAEC with sponsorship from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Addressing the fellows at a closing ceremony in Accra, the Director-General of the GAEC, Prof. Benjamin Jabez Botwe Nyarko, said Medical Physicists are an important component of the entire radiotherapy and nuclear medicine ecosystem.
Prof Nyarko explained that Medical Physics deals with the application of physical principles to diagnose and treat human diseases and the branches of medical physics include, therapeutic medical physics, diagnostic medical physics, medical nuclear physics, and medical health physics.
He explained that Medical Physicists provide essential radiation protection and radiation safety services, plan patients’ radiation treatment using either external radiation beams or internally placed radioactive sources, and analyze nuclear medical image data to determine important physiological variables such as metabolic rates and blood flow.
Prof. Nyarko mentioned that the IAEA and the African Regional Cooperative Agreement for Research, Development, and Training related to Nuclear Science and Technology (AFRA) have made a conscious effort to develop African experts in the field of nuclear science by hosting training sessions in Africa.
“It is our duty to ensure that our continent is recognized in the field of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine. Therefore, I am encouraging all fellows to go back to their respective countries and share their knowledge with their people. Contribute to the development of Africa by putting your expertise and skills to work for your country,” he said.
The Director of the Radiological and Medical Sciences Research Institute (RAMSRI), Prof Mary Boadu, said that the training has been rigorous because the facilitators ensured that all modules in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine were covered.
“I believe that good and reasonable knowledge and skills have been impacted into the fellows. I will like to encourage you to endeavor to implement as soon as possible the skills that have been impacted into you upon your return to your country” she added.
In a short statement, the Fellowship Coordinator, Mr. Theophilus Sackey, mentioned that the objective of the training was to help fill the huge gap of non-availability of clinically trained medical physicists in diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine in Africa.
He further noted that although the fellows experienced a few challenges, the training programme has largely been a success.
“I am particularly happy with the frank and open manner in which we discussed and overcame the challenges that we faced. I encourage you to make use of the numerous networks that you have established here in Ghana to the benefit of diagnostic radiology and nuclear medicine in your respective countries” he added.
The nine fellows and training facilitators from RAMSRI were presented with certificates for their participation.