The Radiological Health Program is involved in many activities in the region. The activities range from assessments of services, educational workshops or courses, incorporation of technologies, among others.
Radiology Webinar Series
In the current health care environment where radiology is forever evolving; health workers are not only required to perform procedures well, but also to remain up-to-date with new technologies and their applications. Although their skills are used on a daily basis, continuing education plays a critical role in maintaining competency and preventing professional brain drain. Also, continuing education reminds us of the importance of the profession, opens a window to new procedures and provides a review of old techniques.
The Radiological Health Program has therefore been delivering webinars to strengthen the capacities of radiology personnel in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). This educational activity provides participants with information to retain or improve on their current knowledge and skills in order to adequately provide services to the public; thus improving the delivery of care. The webinars will cover many areas in radiology.
In 2013, webinars were comprised of several topics including:
Trauma in Radiology
In 2014, the topics were as follows:
Computed Tomography offered in January 2014 Click here for lecture
Vascular Ultrasonography in June 2014
Obstetric Sonography in October 2014
In 2015, webinars series schedule is a follows:
Breast Biopsy was offered in January 2015 Click herefor agenda)
Pediatric Imaging in May 2015 (clickherefor Agenda)
Cancer is the second cause of death in the Region, and its incidence is expected to increase considerably in the developing countries. It has been noted internationally that Radiation therapy will continue to be key in cancer treatment in the next decades. Its curative function is particularly important in several pathologies such as cervical and uterine cancers, head and neck, and breast or prostate, without forgetting its palliative function and cost effectiveness in all the pathologies.
The effectiveness and safety of the treatments depend on many factors including the correct diagnosis and stage, the adequate therapeutic decision, the precise localization of the tumor, or planning and delivery of the treatment. This motivates the need for implementing comprehensive quality assurance programs in order to improve the effectiveness of the treatments and radiation safety for the patients.
Las ventajas y los riesgos del uso de radiaciones, tanto en aplicaciones médicas, industriales o de investigación, son bien conocidos. El elevado riesgo potencial para la salud que implica su uso, hace necesario adoptar medidas especiales para la protección radiológica de pacientes, trabajadores, público y medio ambiente.
De entre todas a las exposiciones de la población a la radiación artificial, la exposición médica es de largo el mayor contribuyente, y continúa una tendencia ascendente en todo el mundo. La repercusión que este incremento de la dosis de radiación en la población tendrá en el futuro es muy difícil de predecir. Como consecuencia, es necesario adoptar medidas especiales de protección radiológica del paciente para evaluar y controlar las dosis de radiación que las fuentes médicas proporcionan.
La OMS tiene en marcha un proyecto internacional sobre los riesgos para la salud de los campos electromagnéticos. En la Región existe una preocupación creciente de la población acerca de estos riesgos, mientras que las normativas y conocimientos técnicos en esta esfera son aún muy heterogéneos de unos países a otros.
PROVISION OF TECHNICAL ADVISE TO MEMBER STATES ON ALL ASPECTS OF RADIOLOGICAL HEALTH
The Radiological Health Program has provided technically sound and timely advise to all official requests from Member states on assessment, incorporation, regulation, management, and utilization of appropriate health technologies in medical imaging and radiotherapy services, as well as on radiation protection from both ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and educational activities. Here are a few of the main activities provided:
More than 150 radiotherapy photon beams have been checked in Latin American and the Caribbean through the IAEA/WHO (PAHO) TLD postal dose quality program.
The state/condition of radiological health in Nicaragua has been assessed and a plan of work has been discussed for 2015, including educational activities and further assessments of diagnostic imaging services.
Provision of advice to Costa Rica and El Salvador to improve the National Cancer Control Plans with respect to radiology and radiotherapy services.
A REGIONAL IAEA/PAHO MEETING FOR REGULATORY AUTHORITIES within the Health Sector based on the BSS is being organized to be held in Chile in March 2015. The main purpose of this meeting is to inform the national authorities to ensure the safety of workers, patients and the public in the use of radiation in medicine.
THE RADIOLOGICAL HEALTH PROGRAM PARTICIPATED IN THE REGIONAL MEETING of The Americas for the Implementation of the International Health Regulations (IHR) held in Argentina, April 204, to advise on the radio-nuclear aspects of the IHR. PAHO has also responded to all radio-nuclear incidents and accidents detected and reported by PAHO/IHR during 2014.
RADIOGRAPHY WORKSHOP FOR PNEUMONIA IN BOGOTÁ, COLUMBIA. The training was aimed to improve the diagnosis of pneumonia. Participants included pediatricians, radiologists and technologists.
COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY AND SONOGRAPHY WORKSHOP IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO. The Obstetric (OB) Sonography and Computed Tomography (CT) courses were held in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on December 6 and 7, 2014. This workshop was a follow-up to the CT and OB sonography webinars offered in January 2014.
TWO-DAY BREAST BIOPSY COURSE IN GRAND CAYMAN. The Breast biopsy course was held in Grand Cayman at the Cayman Islands Hospital. The 2 day course provided continuing education to the radiologists; surgeons and sonographers performing Vacuum Assisted Breast Ultrasound Biopsies in the facility.
RADIOLOGY TEXTBOOK DONATION. The radiology textbook donations aim to build a library of Radiology textbook in the Region. The textbooks have been donated to the University of West Indies in Jamaica, the University of Guyana and The College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT). The various contributors include authors, radiology institutions and private donors.
Washington, D.C., 8 November 2013. Experts participating in a special panel discussion organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) for World Radiology Day, Nov. 8, said main challenges facing radiology services in the Americas included not only inadequate numbers of devices but also insufficient numbers of skilled human resources in this area, lack of training and certification, and inadequate career opportunities and resulting "brain drain." Panelists called for stronger national policies and necessary investments to address these issues.