Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah Molecular Imaging Center (JAC), one of the centers of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences’ (KFAS), has signed an executive agreement today with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, to strengthen cooperation between the two parties in the field of peaceful nuclear use, particularly in the field of nuclear medicine.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the 60th session of the IAEA General Conference, by Dr. Adnan Shihab-eldin, KFAS Director General, and Mr. Aldo Malavasi, IAEA Deputy Director General of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications.
At ceremony, Dr. Shihab-eldin announced that this agreement is the first with the IAEA in the field of nuclear medicine and pointed out that it materialized as a result of hard work and intensive coordination with the Agency in the past few months to adopt a mechanism of mutual cooperation in the field of nuclear medicine.
He added that such efforts have resulted in developing a draft agreement between the Agency and JAC (managed and operated by the Ministry of Health), which comprises promotion of cooperation with the Agency’s Technical Cooperation Program to support the institutional and technical capacities in the field of nuclear medicine.
Dr. Shihab-eldin reiterated that the agreement includes also cooperation between the two parties in building capacities in the field of nuclear medicine in addition to cooperation in training of professionals and technicians from the IAEA Member States (Asia and the Pacific) at JAC, including nuclear medicine and technology practitioners.
The Director General noted that based on the agreement a number of training courses will be launched for specialists on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and the production of radioactive materials including sound and safe production practices, the exchange of data and information of mutual interest, and the dissemination of relevant research findings through publication.
On the other hand, the Director General of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Dr. Samira Omar, praised the agreement stating that it falls within the framework of the outstanding cooperation between the State of Kuwait and the IAEA in peaceful nuclear applications in medicine, particularly in nuclear medicine.
The Director of JAC, Dr. Nahil al-Nafissi, said that signing this agreement represents the culmination of the joint cooperation between the Agency and the Center, which started at the beginning of operations in the Center and continued ever since for the past three years.
Dr. al-Nafisi added that the Center has hosted many IAEA experts in the past to study the work protocols and assess the radiation protection procedures, as well as to oversee that applications are within international standards to ensure quality of production of radioactive materials. She noted that the Center has participated in several regional technical workshops and international scientific conferences organized by the Agency.
Dr. Nahil al-Nafissi pointed out that in last March, the Center organized a regional training course in cooperation with the Agency attended by practitioners and doctors from 16 countries from the Asia and the Pacific. She reiterated that the level of organization of the training course was commended by officials of the Agency.
The JAC Director announced that the Center is working with the Agency on a national project to establish an accredited and recognized program for education and training in the field of nuclear medicine and basic sciences and that the project will be discussed at the 60th session of the IAEA General Conference.
The signing ceremony was attended by Dr. Sadik Maarafi, Kuwait Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations in Vienna, Dr. Samira Omar, KISR Director General, Dr. Nahil al-Nafissi, JAC Director, and Dr. Nader al-Awadi, KISR Executive Commissioner for International Cooperation and the National focal point with the IAEA, in addition to members of the Permanent Mission of the State of Kuwait to the international organizations in Vienna. The IAEA side was represented by Dr. Diana Beiz, Head of the Nuclear Medicine Department and a number of IAEA officials.