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Bolivia Opens a Third Nuclear Medicine Center and Plans for More

On Nov. 28, Bolivian President Luis Arce and Dr. Hortensia Jiménez, executive director of the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency (ABEN) presided over the inauguration of the country’s third nuclear medicine center, this one located in the Achumani district of La Paz, ABEN announced in a press release.

The first center in El Alto, a large municipality near La Paz, was opened in March 2022, and the second one in the southeastern province of Santa Cruz, in September of that year. In addition to these three centers, ABEN is also partnering with Russia’s Rosatom to build the Nuclear Technology Research and Development Center in El Alto, which includes a nuclear medicine and isotope production center, a food irradiation capability and a research reactor.

Argentina’s renowned INVAP company collaborated with ABEN to build the most recent nuclear medicine center, equipping it with state-of-the-art technology for early diagnosis and treatment of cancer. At the inaugural ceremony, President Luis Arce said the plan is to open similar centers in the rest of the country. Arce, who is a cancer survivor, said that the goal of the new center is to ensure that cancer patients receive all necessary treatment. The government invested $52 million in this center to benefit all Bolivians, he said, “to continue saving lives, because cancer can be overcome.”

Dr. Jiménez added that the center’s highly specialized personnel have been trained at Argentina’s top-ranking scientific institutions in nuclear medicine, radiotherapy, physical medicine, radiology and other areas. She thanked Argentina, whose 50 years of experience in the nuclear sector made it possible for Bolivia to build these high-technology projects for the benefit of all Bolivians. Today, she said, “we are taking one more step on the path for the good of our country,” thanks to President Arce’s commitment “to protect the health of Bolivians through a technological revolution.”