Review of the current status of radiation protection in diagnostic radiology in Africa.
The aim of this paper is to review the available published studies from African countries on patient doses and medical radiation protection and identify strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. Papers on radiation doses to patients published until 2016 pertaining to studies in African countries were reviewed. Radiography, interventional radiology, computed tomography (CT), and mammography modalities were covered. In radiography, the entrance surface air kerma values were below the established diagnostic reference levels (DRLs) provided by the International Atomic Energy Agency, European Commission, and National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements. Patient and staff doses in interventional procedures were not on the higher side when compared with other published reports from developed countries. The dose length product values in CT in many situations were higher than established DRLs. In mammography, the variations of clinical image quality and dose to standard breast between African countries and other countries were insignificant. In conclusion, like in any continent, not all countries in Africa are active, but some have produced good results. The potential for optimization of radiation protection using simple and inexpensive techniques has been demonstrated. The lack of medical physicists is one of the important challenges.
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