South Africa’s Minister Counsellor to Visit the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, April 3

HAMPTON, Va. (March 29, 2019) – Dr. Nomonde Nolutshungu, the Minister Counsellor for the Republic of South Africa, will be visiting the Hampton University Proton therapy Institute (HUPTI) on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. The visit’s purpose is to explore ways in which the South African embassy and HUPTI can partner to help reduce the burden of disease by offering treatments to the people of South Africa.

For many people affected by cancer, having the ability to receive the best available treatment is a matter of life and death. There are 28 proton therapy cancer treatment facilities in the United States, which makes this treatment modality a tangible reality within U.S. borders.  However, many patients in rural and underserved areas around the world, primarily the continent of Africa, frequently find themselves without access to this life-saving treatment. Hampton University is poised to change that.

Organized by Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey and HUPTI Executive Director, Dr. Vahagn Nazaryan, several presentations and meetings with Dr. Nolutshungu and HUPTI’s doctors and medical staff will take place. The main objective will be to share the benefits of treating cancer by utilizing proton therapy, a millimeter precise and non-invasive form of radiation which spares healthy surrounding tissue and reduces side effects for the patient. There are no hospital stays with proton therapy, which gives the patient undergoing this treatment the best possible chance of eliminating their cancer with the least damage to their body, while also maintaining their quality of life.

This is a major step in the global mission of the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute to ease human misery and save lives, both here and abroad.

This meeting comes at a time of great need.  There is currently only one proton therapy cancer treatment center in South Africa; iThemba labs contains a single treatment room in a country with 56.7 million people. Also, cancer is South Africa’s biggest killer, with men, in particular, being diagnosed with prostate, colorectal and lung cancer at alarming rates.

“We are extremely honored to have Dr. Nomonde Nolutshungu visit the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute,” said Dr. Nazaryan. “South Africa has world-class medical training, specialists, research and service platform institutions, and we are looking forward to having knowledge exchange and finding solutions to address common problems of fighting cancer.”

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