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11 DECEMBER 2013

Uganda to host the VUCCnet Secretariat for Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda to host the VUCCnet SecretariatThe International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), through its Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) in cooperation with its international partners in cancer control and supported by the Roche African Research Foundation, launched, in 2010, an initiative to establish a Virtual University for Cancer Control supported by regional cancer training and mentorship networks in Sub Saharan Africa.

This initiative, collectively referred to as VUCCnet is helping to establish training and mentorship networks within and amongst low and middle income (LMI) countries, while utilizing a web-based platform to make educational materials more easily accessible to and affordable for trainees.

In 2011, four Member States participated in a 'proof of concept' exercise involving an e-learning course on Cervical Cancer Prevention and Early Detection. Now the VUCCnet initiative is transitioning towards becoming an intergovernmental entity with a managing Secretariat located in the region. In July 2013, the founding Member States (Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia) unanimously agreed to ask the government of Uganda to host the Secretariat of the VUCCnet on behalf of the Sub-Saharan African region. The Ugandan Minister of Health agreed to lead the process of establishing an intergovernmental agreement amongst VUCCnet founding Members. On 27 November 2013, a meeting was held in Uganda at the Makerere University, where it was agreed to launch three courses on the regional platform by mid-January 2014.

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