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New National Cancer Centre in Mauritius to Deliver Advanced Nuclear Medicine in the Country and Region

Mauritius inaugurated its new National Cancer Centre in Solferino on 8 May, marking the culmination of close to a decade of IAEA support to advance nuclear medicine in the country. Expected to radically change cancer care for patients in Mauritius, the new centre will house all oncology services under one roof, including nuclear medicine.

“This ambitious project will undoubtedly improve our healthcare delivery system, providing free healthcare to all citizens and helping position Mauritius as a centre of excellence for cancer care in the region,” said Dr Kailesh Jagutpal, Minister of Health and Wellness of Mauritius, at the inauguration ceremony.

A small island in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius’ 1.2 million population faces a growing cancer burden. While traditional diagnostic methods like CT scans and MRIs were already available in the country, the specific nature and complexity of the cancers that are currently on the rise in Mauritius (head and neck, prostate, thyroid, and neuroendocrine tumours) have been placing a strain on existing medical facilities. The country required more advanced and precise diagnostic tools.

In 2018, a comprehensive imPACT Review carried out in collaboration with the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Research on Cancer helped to inform the government’s policy of boosting national diagnostic capacity. Since then, the government of Mauritius has been taking steps to further expand nuclear medicine services within the national healthcare system.

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