On the margins of the U.S. -Africa Leaders Summit, His Excellency Brigadier Rtd Dr. Julius Maada Bio today 16th, December 2022 instructed his Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Austin Demby to go ahead and sign Memorandum of Understanding with Varian CEO Chris Toth for the implementation of a Radiotherapy Development Project in Sierra Leone.
After healthy discussions at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington, DC , President Bio expressed his delight in the implementation of the project, reminding all present that the project is inline with his government’s human capital development, stretching from education, food security and quality healthcare services.
According to President Bio, the Cancer Research Center will help in diagnosing as early as possible, and will help Sierra Leoneans from traveling to either Ghana or other countries for treatment. He dilated that the Radiotherapy in Sierra Leone will also serve the Mano River Countries.
Dr. Austin Demby who signed the MoU on behalf of the country expressed his appreciation to the CEO of Varian for his patience. He said the discussions on the implementation of the project started in 2018, and that the implementation is very critical to the healthcare services in Sierra Leone.
His Excellency Ambassador Sidique Abou-Bakarr Wai thanked President Bio for agreeing to the implementation of the project in Sierra Leone. Ambassador Wai had been in constant touch with Varian, encouraging them to pursue their goal.
In the Memorandum of Understanding, Sierra Leone identified the need to expand access to radiotherapy via a specialized cancer treatment serving the population of Sierra Leone. Whereas, Varian, a Siemens Healthineers Company, headquartered globally in Palo Alto, California, United States of America, is the world’s leading manufacturer of medical devices for treating cancer and other medical conditions with radiotherapy, radiosurgery, proton and brachytherapy.
Varian is a subsidiary of Siemens Healthineers and has directly or indirectly wholly owned subsidiaries operating all over the world and may rely on its affiliates -the Varian Affiliates in certain territories in order to perform certain tasks under the current Memorandum of Understanding.
In responding to President Bio’s acceptance of the implementation of the project, the CEO of Varian Chris Toth reiterated his desire to develop and execute the Project Elements in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, including Oncology Program Planning, Facility Planning, Equipment Planning, Oncology Center Implementation, Technology Implementation, Training and Education.
Based on the needs of the project, it is envisioned that the deliverables of the operational services will include broad activities which will be mutually agreed upon in the MoU, especially in the areas of treatment planning, oncology programmatic planning, oncology strategic planning, oncology referral mapping and operational support.
To ascertain the legitimacy of the project, President Bio told his friends from Varian that his cabinet will discuss further details of the project, and the agreement sent to Parliament for approval.
Present at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding were Hon. Alpha Kanu, Resident Minister North -West, Dr. Maada Mustapha-Director, National Investment Board, staff of the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Washington,DC, and members of the Varian group.