HARARE: The International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] has once again shown its confidence in the operations of the Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe [RPAZ] by offering a two- week sponsorship to four fellows from Africa to understudy RPAZ’s Inspectors in an effort to enhance inspection activities in regulatory bodies.
The fellows are Ms Linda K Hamvula (Zambia), Mr Mushaukwa Liswani Kabuku (Zambia), Mr Orlando Soto (Mozambique) and Ms Adelaide Francisco (Mozambique).
Some of the areas to be covered during the two-week inspections programme include:
- Overview of the National Regulatory Framework for radiation safety
- Legislation (Radiation Protection Act [Chapter 15:15], its development and proposed changes;
- Establishment of the regulatory framework and its evolution;
- Radiation Protection Authority of Zimbabwe :Overview of the Structure, functions and strategic focus;
- Resourcing of the regulatory body (human and financial resources);
- National Cooperation and coordination (National Committees, Memoranda of Understanding).
- Functions of the regulatory body
- Inspection Function
- Management system for inspections
- Policies and procedures
- Inspection guides, checklists
- Preparation for inspections
- Simulation of Entrance and exit meetings
- Scheduled inspections
- Medical facilities
- Radiotherapy Centre
- Nuclear Medicine facility
- Diagnostic radiology facility (General x-ray, CT, Fluoroscopy)
- Mammography Facility
- Industrial facilities
- Manufacturing plant – level gauging
- Process automation plant – density gauges
- Non-intrusive high energy scanners
- Writing Inspection reports
- Communicating inspection findings
- Regulatory Authority Information System (RAIS)
As part of the programme, the fellows were taken to a new radiotherapy centre in Harare to learn how inspections of such facilities are conducted. They were also taken to Parirenyatwa Hospital’s Radiotherapy Centre.
Speaking to RPAZ Communications Department during interviews, the fellows expressed gratification towards the IAEA for funding the scientific visit and the Government of Zimbabwe and RPAZ for the immense knowledge that they received during their two-week stint at RPAZ.
Ms Linda K Hamvula who is a Radiation Safety Officer for the Zambia Radiation Protection Authority said she learnt how to conduct entrance and exit briefings during inspections and inspection of radiotherapy centres among many other areas of inspection.
Mr Mushaukwa Liswani Kabuku who is a Director of Protection Services for the Zambia Radiation Protection Authority said he now has a better understanding and overview of radiotherapy centres and what is expected of an inspector when he goes out to inspect such facilities. He added that he learnt the importance of verification of all necessary documents when conducting inspections.
Mr Orlando Soto who is an Inspector with the Mozambique National Atomic Energy Agency said he learnt procedures for inspecting medical and industrial facilities and the most interesting part of the programme for him was the visit to a new radiotherapy centre in Harare and the visit to Parirenyatwa hospital.
Ms Adelaide Francisco who is also an Inspector for Mozambique’s National Atomic Energy Agency said she appreciated new knowledge on how to write inspection reports, communication of inspection findings to a facility’s management and the simulations that were done of entrance and exit meetings.