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Italian Cooperation system confirms its engagement to fight leukaemia

The Italian Cooperation system and the Cell Biology Unit UBC of the Universidad Mayor de San Andreas in La Paz have been cooperating for twenty years and have succeeded in achieving remarkable results in the fight against leukaemia in Bolivia. Over 1,699 children and 1,613 adults who had been diagnosed with lymphoblastic leukaemia and over 450 patients suffering from chronic myeloid leukaemia were given free treatment and care. This cooperation activity dates back to 1997, when the people in charge of the Italian-Bolivian cooperation project in onco-hematology of the “Paolo Belli” Association of the Municipality of Bergamo, signed a scientific cooperation agreement with the Universidad Mayor in La Paz. Much has been done ever since, with celebrations having been arranged to mark the anniversary of the beginning of this journey.
The Auditorium of the School of Medicine of the Universidad Mayor de San Andreas (UMSA) hosted a ceremony, which was attended by the Italian Ambassador to Bolivia, Placido Vigo, the Rector of UMSA, Waldo Albarracin, and the Director of the Cell Biology Unit, Ricardo Amaru. “It is thanks to the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation that Universidad San Andres was able to achieve significant results,” said  Ambassador Vigo during the ceremony. He went on to point out that the laboratory led by Professor Amaru and funded by the Italian Development Cooperation Agency is the only one of its kind in the whole of Bolivia. He also highlighted the importance of the “many ongoing programs in the field of Technical Assistance in the Health sector, such as drug and alcohol addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs, as well as major steps forward in diagnosing cervical cancer, which make the Italian Cooperation system a leading actor in the sector of health in Bolivia.” Rector Albarracin said that cooperation projects with Italian universities and Italy’s Cooperation system have contributed to the consolidation of the right to health and life in Bolivia on a daily basis. This is because the high cost of diagnostic services and treatment would engender social exclusion, especially for the poor. Finally, Albaraccin urged the Italian Development Cooperation Agency to consider funding the extension of the Cell Biology Unit ahead of its transformation into a full-fledged research institute, which will be of service to the whole Bolivian population.

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