The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology (ASNC) on Monday agreed to work together to improve medical care for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases worldwide.
More people die globally due to heart diseases than any other single cause.
The two parties signed a practical arrangement to step up training of health professionals in low- and middle- income countries in using nuclear techniques to diagnose and assess the extent of heart disease in patients.
They will jointly develop interactive educational materials for the IAEA’s Human Health Campus, an online resource visited monthly by over 5,000 health professionals. ASNC will also make its experts available for advisory missions and training courses as part of IAEA Technical Cooperation activities.
According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases kill more than 17.5 million people annually, accounting for 31 per cent of global deaths. Low- and middle income countries face the highest burden, with more than 75 per cent of these deaths. The epidemic proportions go hand-in-hand with an upsurge in risk factors, including obesity, low physical activity and poor diet.
“The practical arrangement increases educational opportunities for professionals in nuclear cardiology,” said Diana Paez, Head of Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging at the IAEA. “The agreement will enable access to continuing medical education in countries with limited resources, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of services provided to patients.”
Nuclear techniques play a fundamental role in the diagnosis and management of patients with heart diseases. For over three decades, the IAEA has worked to support countries in developing capacity in the field of nuclear cardiology. The Agency also fosters partnerships with international professional associations to help countries tackle the growing problem of non-communicable diseases.
With more than 4,500 members worldwide, ASNC is an international leader in cardiovascular imaging education and also establishes standards and guidelines for training in this field.
“ASNC pledges to continuously create new partnerships and alliances in an ongoing effort to promote a unified and inclusive community of research, innovation, and education,” ASNC President Raymond Russell said. “This agreement serves as the perfect pathway to accomplish a common goal among the two organizations.”