EPA, MOPH host radiation workshop for national stakeholders
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DPI, GUYANA, Monday, April 16, 2018
National stakeholders will benefit from the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) national five-day training course on basic radiation safety and the regulation of radiation sources. The training programme commenced today in the boardroom of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The event is hosted by the EPA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and is one of several initiatives in partnership with the IAEA.
Chairman of the EPA Board of Directors, Dr. Patrick Williams gave some further insight into the aim of the workshop.
“It’s anticipated that at the conclusion of the sessions, capacity will be built for national regulatory agencies to establish, operate and adequately regulate a programme for the safety and security of radiation sources,” Dr. Williams said.
This is not the first time the IAEA conducted programmes in the country. The first meeting that involved the IAEA in Guyana focused on training in ‘radiation emergency preparedness and responses’ and dates back to 2016. It coincided with the visit of an IAEA expert mission on ‘Emergency Preparedness and Response to Nuclear and Radiological emergencies’. This was specifically designed for new IAES Caribbean Member States. That IAEA Mission was the launch pad for Guyana’s National Radiation Emergency Plan in line with PAHO/WHO’s Biennial Work Plan 2016-2017.
Speaking on the aforementioned, the chairman noted that the IAEA has been involved in a partnership with Caribbean countries over the years, with the goal of developing their capacity in addressing the above mentioned
“Since 2016, IAEA/PAHO and CEDEMA have been working in partnership to assist Caribbean countries in the development of their national capabilities to respond to radiological emergencies. Guyana was the first Caribbean country to benefit from the initial intervention in 2016 to develop their national capabilities,” Dr. Williams said.
The 2016 workshop brought together stakeholders such as the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Civil Defense Commission (CDC), the Guyana Fire Service (GFS), the Maritime Administration (MARAD), the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GAFDD) as well as companies using radiation sources.
This current training programme will run from April 16th – 20th and will be facilitated by two IAEA international consultants and comes at a time when Guyana is currently implementing IAEA’s Technical Co-operation Project: RLA 9082 on ‘Establishing and Strengthening Sustainable National Regulatory Infrastructures for the Control of Radioactive Sources’ under the IAEA.
By: Stephon Gabriel