RSNA awarded federal grant to create radiology training hub in Africa

The Radiological Society of North America announced Tuesday that it has received a new government grant to address the need for radiologists in Sub-Saharan Africa.

RSNA said it will use the $750,000 award from the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration to develop a center in the region that’s focused on training future imaging professionals.

The organization publicized its Global Learning Centers Program last year, which partners with established radiology departments in resource-strapped regions to improve education and patient care. Its first center opened in 2019 and is located at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa.

Chair of the GLC subcommittee of RSNA’s Committee on International Radiology Education, Omolola M. Atalabi, said the three-year award will help provide greatly needed assistance to rads in the area.

“The NNSA grant award dedicated to establishing an RSNA Global Learning Center in Sub-Saharan Africa could not have come at a better time, as RSNA is implementing its newly innovated GLC program in low-income countries, many of which are in this region,” Atalabi added in a July 28 statement. “This award further testifies to and recognizes the leadership role RSNA is playing in bringing quality radiological education to Africa, and the impact it has made to the careers of individuals and to the growth of radiological organizations in low-income countries.”

More residency programs are training students in global radiology than ever before, according to a study published last year in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology. And that’s a true positive given that the World Health Organization estimates nearly two-thirds of the world’s population has no access to diagnostic imaging.

As part of the GLC program, RSNA team members travel to host sites to develop a custom education plan, including hands-on training, online courses and other offerings. Working with the local team, RSNA supplies necessary equipment and resources.

“This award will go a long way in providing much needed assistance to many radiologists in Sub-Saharan Africa,” Atalabi concluded in the announcement. “I greatly appreciate this grant award from NNSA and look forward to similar collaborations between RSNA and other organizations.”