Russia's Rosatom Creates Company to Promote Nuclear Medicine Exports Globally
The nuclear energy expansion is not limited to building power plants and related infrastructure. Nuclear technologies provide access to the latest nuclear medicine developments that aid to fight cancer and serious cardiovascular diseases. Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation is to promote innovative nuclear medicine technologies via its new Rusatom Healthcare subsidiary.
Rusatom Healthcare is also set to promote radiation technology designed for use in irradiation and sterilization centers. The new company will integrate Russian offers in the area of nuclear medicine and their promotion on world markets.
Nuclear medicine remains one of the cornerstones of Rosatom innovative technologies. In cooperation with the leading manufacturers in the industry, Rosatom creates the entire medical production complex, from isotopes to providing medical care using high-tech equipment. In 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Rosatom signed an agreement on extra-budgetary contributions to the implementation of a cancer treatment program.
Nuclear medicine involves the use of radioactive substances in diagnostics and treatment of diseases. Other applications include medical tool and food sterilization.
In 2016 Rosatom signed an agreement to take part in an Indian program tasked with creating an integrated sterilization center network in the Asian country. A similar agreement had been reached with Brazil, while Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear technology, medicine in particular, in 2015.
Earlier, establishment of radiopharmaceutical cluster on the basis of the Russian Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” was announced. The facility is aimed at development and production of domestic radioactive drugs and medical equipment exploited in positron emission tomography.
As Rosatom views Africa as an important frontier in the developing world the global expansion of cutting-edge Russian nuclear medicine technologies will definitely have beneficial effect for Rosatom local partners. Indeed, according to the WHO, only 17% of African countries have access to the technologies required for cancer diagnosis and treatment. In Nigeria, about 10,000 cancer deaths and 250,000 new cases of cancer are recorded each year. In Ghana, 16,000 cases of cancer are diagnosed annually. In Kenya, the cancer mortality rate was 33 cases per 100,000 people from 2010 through 2014. By 2026, it may increase to 64.
In 2016 Rosatom and Nigeria have signed an agreement on cooperation in construction of the Center for Nuclear Research and Technology in Nigeria. The Center will allow Nigeria to begin work on familiarization with nuclear technologies and their implementation especially in the fields of science, medicine.
Moreover, the MoU was signed between Rosatom and Kenya with a view of construction and operation of nuclear energy and research reactors, main providers of radioizotopes for nuclear medicine.
Through the comprehensive technical cooperation in sphere of medicine and radio isotopes, African countries with the assistance of Rosatom may gradually develop their capacities to establish and maintain innovative nuclear medicine.