Despite the improving delivery of healthcare services in Colombia, access to innovative treatments and improving support for serious chronic diseases such as cancer still remain as the country’s greatest challenges. About 2,200 of women die of breast cancer and approximately 7,000 new cases are reported every year. However, Colombian women are often not aware of the risk factors for cancer, or of the importance of early detection, they often present to the doctor in an advanced stage.
Roche is working hand-in-hand with some of Colombia’s largest healthcare organizations on a broad range of healthcare awareness and prevention programs. Roche and its partners are aiming to: train healthcare professionals on different types of cancers so that they can be detected at an earlier stage; and develop and deliver programs that focus on appropriate and prompt management of cancer. The activities of this initiative included: establishing Women Consulting Rooms to provide women with the awareness of diseases and diagnostic which enable early detection diseases, such as, breast cancer; health awareness programs in jails to promote awareness and prevention; and patient support programs to provide a broader range of support for cancer patients, their families, and caregivers. Moreover, other activities included a telephone support service which also provided a team of specialized advisors and nurses; nurses that visited patients in the homes, and other support teams that monitored the patient’s progress through workshop and conferences to help them manage the physical and psychological impacts of cancers.
By 2013, 62 Women Consulting Rooms have been established in 23 cities throughout Colombia. Over 61,000 women have taken a breast cancer risk survey and learned how to conduct a breast self-exam. As a result, about 10,600 women were identified as high or intermediate risk for developing breast cancer, and 342 patients were diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Due to the success of these rooms, Roche is expanding these rooms to include other diseases affecting women, such as ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and arthritis.
|Location||Colombia, Latin America and Caribbean|