The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), linked to the United Nations (UN), recently signed a deal with the Brazilian Nuclear Medicine Society (SBMN) to boost opportunities to produce nuclear medicine professionals in Latin America, the Caribbean, and in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa.

The first agreement of this kind signed in Latin America makes official the cooperation between the two parties, which had already been working in partnership. Founded in 1961, SBMN is a by-word in Brazil for medical imaging and nuclear medicine.

SBMN head Juliano Cerci (photo) said that Brazil is facing a sui generis situation in the field. “The country is a power in some segments of nuclear medicine, and still has a lot to learn in other aspects. This deal formalizes something that’s been taking place for a while, namely a technical cooperation between Brazil and the International Atomic Agency Energy.”

The deal, he added, focuses on education “so we can welcome students from other countries, and also so we can send people to work overseas from Brazil.” He said that nuclear medicine plays a key role in the treatment of chronic diseases, from the early diagnosis to the treat-ment phase and response checking.

“When patients have cancer and have to see how far it’s evolved through nuclear medicine, this makes a significant impact in choosing the appropriate treatment, whether or not they have to undergo surgery, if there is another severe disease and chemo is required, or medication,” he pointed out.


In a note, IAEA explains that another purpose of the deal is to identify high-level clinical centers or universities to have professionals trained. Also to be identified are centers that could accept investigation projects from the agency.

Diana Paez, head for IAEA’s nuclear medicine and imagining diagnosis, said that “Brazil is ideal for this partnership, as it is home to most nuclear centers in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a number of facilities with state-of-the-art technology related to the field.”

The country, she went on to note, “also boats a large number of training programs and a robust community of high-level specialists.”


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