New York, United States – The Government of Sierra Leone represented by the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha T. Wurie has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Varian Medical Systems to establish the first radiotherapy centre in Sierra Leone.
The Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 26th September 2018, is a comprehensive partnership agreement that will include the provision of state-of-the-art radiotherapy and diagnostic equipment as well as service, training and research collaboration opportunities.
During the signing of the MOU the President and CEO of Varian Medical Systems, Dow Wilson said: “We view this partnership as an opportunity to help Sierra Leone develop local expertise, which will facilitate self-sufficiency and regional leadership”. He went on: “In order to achieve our mission of A World Without Fear of Cancer, we need to move beyond simply delivering equipment and consider the entire cancer treatment ecosystem, from infrastructure to human capacity and beyond.”
On his part, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr Alpha T. Wurie said: “It is a beautiful day for the people of Sierra Leone. As announced by His Excellency President Bio, we have a vision to achieve self-sufficiency and ownership of advanced health services in Sierra Leone. By establishing the first radiotherapy center in the country, we will reduce the economic and emotional burdens on Sierra Leoneans who currently have to travel outside the country for cancer treatment.”
The radiotherapy equipment to be supplied will be a Varian Halcyon™ system. Halcyon is the newest linear accelerator platform from Varian, introduced in April 2017. Halcyon is designed to expand the availability of high quality cancer care globally and help save the lives of millions more cancer patients. This could be a particularly significant advantage in Sierra Leone, where the Varian Halcyon system will be the first radiotherapy machine in a country with more than 6 million people.
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio has used most of his engagements in the United States to focus on his key priority which is human capital development. The signing of the MOU to establish the first radiotherapy centre for cancer treatment in Sierra Leone will demonstrate Bio’s commitment to ensure that Sierra Leoneans would not have to travel abroad for healthcare needs.
Varian Medical Systems focuses energy on saving lives by equipping the world with advanced technology for fighting cancer. Headquartered in the Silicon Valley area of California, Varian is the world’s leading producer of medical technology for treating cancer with radiotherapy. Over the last 25 years, Varian has installed over 125 radiotherapy treatment systems at sites across Africa. Over 7,000 Varian treatment systems are in place globally, delivering more than 35 million cancer treatments every year. The most common cancers in Africa are cancers of the cervix, breast, lung, liver and prostate.