VIENNA, 27th April, 2016 (WAM):– Responding to a request for emergency assistance, the IAEA is to send X-ray equipment and provide training to help doctors in Ecuador cope with the aftermath of an earthquake that killed more than 600 people and injured thousands more.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 16th April destroyed or damaged many buildings, including some small hospitals.

Officials in the Andean nation say they need to replace damaged medical imaging equipment used to diagnose patients for treatment. The IAEA will deliver four mobile digital X-ray machines to the affected region. The assistance will include mobile power generators to operate the machines, as well as technical advice.

“It is a priority of the agency to react quickly to emergencies in member states, such as the recent outbreak of the Zika virus in countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and now the earthquake in Ecuador,” IAEA Director-General, Yukiya Amano, said, before adding, “With nuclear techniques, the agency can assist member states in addressing urgent health needs.”

The assistance will be distributed under the IAEA’s technical cooperation programme. Other forms of IAEA assistance are also in the pipeline, including equipment to detect the Zika virus. Ecuador is one of the IAEA’s 168 member states.

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