QATAR – The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has teamed up with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to create various collaboration opportunities in the areas of radiation medicine and food safety.
This memorandum of practical arrangements is anticipated to bolster the development of national capabilities to promote the health and safety of the Qatari population.
In his address, Dr. Saleh Ali Al Marri, Assistant Minister of Health Affairs at the Ministry of Public Health, said: “In the light of the MoU, several laboratories and advanced centers inside the state of Qatar will be allocated as collaborating centers with the International Atomic Energy Agency.”
Signed by Dr. Saleh Ali Al Marri, Assistant Minister of Health Affairs at the Ministry of Public Health, and Hua Liu, Deputy Director General of the IAEA, the groundbreaking partnership covers a number of important areas.
Cooperation activities include supporting IAEA capacity-building activities related to the medical use of ionizing radiation, food safety through trainings, supporting IAEA expert missions to assess and support other country’s needs, and the technical cooperation programme.
It marks a momentous step forward in enhancing the safe use of radiation medicine by improving the safe use of nuclear technology for diagnosis and treatment of cancer and other Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
Cooperation activities also include supporting the IAEA’s “Rays of Hope” initiative launched by the Agency, which focuses on supporting countries that suffer from the lack of radiotherapy whereas the initiative supports establishing and expanding diagnostic and treatment services.
“One of the supporting forms of the initiative under the Memorandum of Practical Arrangements signed between the Ministry of Public Health and the IAEA, is the identification and designation of potential advanced institutions that can act as Anchor Centres for Rays of Hope,” stated Dr. Saleh Ali Al Marri.
As specified in the memorandum of practical arrangements, Qatar’s MoPH and IAEA will also work closely to enhance food safety by addressing the risks of food contaminants in relation to trade.
The objective of these practical arrangements is to set forth the framework for non-exclusive cooperation between the State of Qatar and the International Atomic Energy Agency in the area of human health.
In addition to advancements in research and development, these agreements will play a pivotal role in contributing to the enhancement of the quality of healthcare in other countries, especially the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
It is based on the keenness of both sides to strengthen the global partnership that responds effectively to the needs of the LDCs and contributes to supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
It is worth highlighting that the State of Qatar was elected for membership of the IAEA Board of Governors for the period from 2022 to 2024 during the 66th International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference.
The State of Qatar has been an active member of the IAEA since its accession in 1976, with a long-term policy to support the IAEA’s role in harnessing the atom for peaceful purposes.
The country is specifically keen on leveraging nuclear applications in critical areas such as food production, agriculture, and human health, to mention a few.
With a commitment to good health and well-being, the strategic partnership between the MoHP and IAEA will support the implementation of the recommendations of the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries hosted by the State of Qatar in March 2023.
It stands as a testament to the international community’s confidence in the constructive role played by the State of Qatar in implementing the tasks of the Vienna-based agency.