Varian Medical Systems Selected to Supply First Modern Radiotherapy Systems in Ethiopia
PALO ALTO, Calif., Aug. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Cancer patients in Ethiopia will gain access to modern radiotherapy treatments for the first time with the announcement that Varian Medical Systems (NYSE: VAR) has been selected to supply advanced medical linear accelerators to six hospitals in the country. The Clinac™ iX treatment systems will be the first such devices offering treatments to cancer patients in a country of more than 90 million people.
The first phase of a cancer plan being rolled out by the Ethiopian government will see Varian supplying the treatment systems to Ethiopian university hospitals in the cities of Harar, Mek’ele, Jima, Hawasa, Gondar, and the capital Addis Ababa. The first of these projects is intended to start offering clinical treatments by the end of this year. The order for the six treatment machines was received by Varian in June.
“This is a well-considered plan by the Ethiopian government and Varian is delighted to be able to contribute by extending advanced care to an area of the world that is severely under-equipped,” says Tom Duffy, Varian’s senior manager of Channel Management & Nile Delta Sales.
The Clinac iX systems will be capable of delivering fast and precise RapidArc® treatments with image-guidance tools on each system. Each site will have an Eclipse™ system for treatment planning and 3 ARIA® oncology information management workstations, and each hospital will have two radiotherapy bunkers to enable future expansion. Varian and Elsmed, one of its local representatives, are also working with the Ethiopian government to establish clinical education and training resources in the country.
“More than 70% of cancer patients require radiotherapy as part of their treatment and precise radiotherapy delivery requires image-guided treatments on modern machines, which is why a modern linear accelerator will be so important for our center,” added Dr. Mathewos Assefa Woldegeorgis, of Black Lion University Hospital in Addis Ababa. “This machine will also help in the training of health professionals such as radiation oncologists, radiotherapists and medical physicists.”
Udi Baruch, managing director of Israel-based Elsmed, said, “We will support this ambitious project through maintenance of the systems, intensive training programs for operators and also an ongoing knowledge sharing program between leading oncology institutes in Israel and the centers in Ethiopia in order to ensure the highest level of treatment in the most efficient and latest techniques.”