NTP Group MD Tina Eboka appointed vice-chair of OECD high-level group
Friday, Aug 05, 2016
Tina Eboka, Group MD of the NTP Group of companies, a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), has been appointed as vice-chair of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR).

The appointment was announced during the bi-annual meeting of the HLG-MR that took place in Paris from 19-21 July. Mrs Eboka, who has headed the NTP Group since June 2014, is the first South African to be elected to this role. At the same meeting, Rilla Hamilton of the United States’ National Nuclear Security Administration was elected as the HLG-MR chair.

The High Level Group on the Security of Medical Radioisotopes was established in 2009 by the OECD’s inter-governmental Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) following a worldwide shortage of key medical radioisotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Mo-99 is used as a precursor for its decay product technetium-99m (Tc-99m).

Tc-99m is used in around 40 million imaging procedures each year, and plays a critical role in both the diagnosis and treatment management of conditions including heart disease and cancers. Because the isotopes have short half-lives – just 66 hours for Mo-99 and six hours for Tc-99m – they cannot be stored or stockpiled, and must be produced daily in order to meet clinical demand.

Through NTP Radioisotopes, South Africa is responsible for more than a quarter of all global production of Mo-99, and is one of the top three Mo-99 producers in the world.

Mrs Eboka’s election as vice-chair also marks the first time that a major isotope producer has been chosen to serve in the HLG-MR executive.

“This is more than just a great honour for South Africa,” says NTP Board Chair, Dr Namane Magau.

“It signals that isotope producers – who carry the industry – should not take secondary roles in guiding the industry. Mrs Eboka’s appointment is a real acknowledgement of NTP Group’s role in global leadership.”

The OECD HLG-MR is made up of representatives from some 40 governments and international agencies with interests in nuclear technology products, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Although South Africa is not an OECD member, it has been included in the HLG-MR since its inception because of the significant global role it plays in the manufacture and processing of medical radioisotopes.

NTP supplies Mo-99 and other key medical radioisotopes to more than 60 countries worldwide, and also produces 100% of local requirements.

Working with the Department of Health, NTP, which is a state-owned company, also supports isotope-based diagnosis and treatment at leading state hospitals, including Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Pretoria, Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital, and the Tygerberg Academic Hospital.

About NTP Radioisotopes

NTP Radioisotopes SOC Ltd is a subsidiary of the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) and is one of the world’s leading suppliers of essential medical radioisotopes. This proudly South African corporate citizen is situated at Necsa’s nuclear facility at Pelindaba, west of Pretoria, and serves customers in more than 60 countries. NTP provides a range of radiation-based products and services, and has strategic partners and associates ranking among the world’s leading providers of nuclear technology products, nuclear imaging services, and pharmaceutical producers and suppliers.

For more information, please visit : http://www.ntp.co.za
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