Federal Grant Funds RSNA Radiology Training Hub in Africa

August 1, 2020

Monies will support the creation of a Global Learning Center dedicated to training future radiologists in Sub-Sarahan Africa.

A new government grant will help the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) augment the population of trained radiologists in Sub-Saharan Africa.

In an announcement this week, the RSNA announced it received a $750,000 grant from the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The monies will be used to launch a center, called the Global Learning Center (GLC), designed to educate future imaging professionals in that geographic area.

“The Global Learning Center program offers a unique opportunity to develop a tailored education program, based on the specific needs and requirements of the host community,” said Umar Mahmood, M.D., Ph.D., RSNA Board of Liaison for International Affairs. “We are able to tap into a wealth of RSNA resources and provide a team of dedicated volunteers to create a comprehensive, dynamic curriculum for the GLC…to bring radiology educational resources to this underserved region.”

The GLC program launched its inaugural center in 2019 at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa. The site for this center is yet to be determined, but once it is selected an RSNA team will work with the GLC over three years to develop a customized educational plan that includes a curriculum of hands-on training, didactic lectures, conferences, online courses, and other educational offerings, as well as equipment and technical assistance.

According to Omolola M. Atalbali, chair of the GLC subcommittee of the RSNA’s Committee on International Radiology Education, the allocation of the funding is well-timed.

“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,” she said.

This grant supplements a similar award given to the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging that is geared toward facilitating access to nuclear energy for medical purposes. The conversation around the need for assistance in nuclear medicine and radiology has been growing over the past year, she added.

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