Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR), world leader in radiation therapy, is today reporting progress towards its goal of making advanced treatments systems more available for cancer patients across Africa. The company is presenting to government and healthcare leaders at the 2nd Africa Healthcare Summit.
"We are pleased at the opportunity to engage with governments and other stakeholders at the Africa Healthcare Summit, to further explore ways of extending access to advanced cancer care," says Burt Lang, Varian's managing director in Africa. "Cancer is growing rapidly in Africa and has become one of the continent's top healthcare concerns. Radiotherapy plays a vital and cost effective role in treating cancer and we are committed to making it available to more patients across the continent."
According to a study published in Lancet Oncology, only 23 out of 52 African countries have radiotherapy available for patients. The World Health Organization reports that by 2030 there will be some 1.6 million new cancer cases in Africa each year, resulting in 1.2 million deaths. The most common cancers in Africa are cancers of the cervix, breast, lung, liver and prostate.
Varian has installed more than 100 radiotherapy treatment systems in Africa over the last 25 years. The company recently announced major projects in Algeria, Egypt and South Africa. Varian has also installed equipment in several sub-Saharan nations including Ghana, Angola, Kenya, and Madagascar.
Varian manufactures and supplies products including linear accelerators and accessories, treatment simulators and treatment verification products, as well as software systems for planning cancer treatments and managing information and images for radiation oncology. It also supplies systems for proton therapy as well imaging components used in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Access to Care in Africa
As part of its presentation to delegates at the summit, Varian is also reporting progress in its 'Access to Care' educational program in Africa. This collaborative initiative seeks to bridge the gap between skills levels and knowledge in well-equipped developed countries and those in developing nations, where modern equipment is being installed but the rollout is sometimes hampered by the lack of trained staff to operate the equipment. Under Varian's 'Access to Care' program, education hubs are being located strategically throughout the continent.