Children and Radiation in Medicine – Protecting the Young Patient
A side event to the General Conference 2011 was organized on 20 September on radiation protection of children in medicine.
Considering that about 180 million X ray examinations of children are done annually, this issue requires special focus. Mr Pil-Soo Hahn, Director of NSRW, in his opening remarks thanked Professor Marilyn Goske, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, USA, and Chair of the Image Gently campaign, for the excellent cooperation with the Agency and enumerated a number of actions taken by the Radiation Protection of Patients (RPOP) Unit of NSRW in the area of radiation protection of children, including training material for free download at the RPOP website, a safety report under publication and other information available on RPOP website.
Professor Goske elaborated on the extensive material that the Image Gently website has provided, including information for parents. Professor Richard Fotter, University Hospital Graz, Dr J Sidika Wambani, Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, and Dr Madan Rehani, IAEA, were other speakers. They covered the global scenario, framed the issue from regional and international perspective, discussed what resources are available to improve the situation, and what more needs to be done in effective cooperation.
The side event was well attended by participants from all regions, who were engaged into a discussion on what the actual situation is in the Member States. It was highlighted in the discussion that there is a Pan-African Association of Radiology, which could provide a valuable link to key health professionals effectively. European participants highlighted the positive impact experienced from the Technical Cooperation regional project on medical exposure in the European region and emphasized the importance of continuing such projects in the European region. Co-operation between the Agency and the Alliance for Radiation Safety in Paediatric Imaging (Image Gently) as well as other regional and international organizations was confirmed as a key effort to strengthen radiation protection of children in medicine, ensuring co-ordination of actions. The need to further develop and disseminate information and training material that caters to needs of grass root in this area was also highlighted.
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