About 80% of Saudi Arabia’s population of 27 million live in urban areas, where most of the specialised oncology centres are located. However, expertise in oncology is lacking in the country’s vast rural area, which covers some 2.5 million square kilometres. Health services are usually provided by general practitioners, family advisers or gynaecology-obstetrics units. Consequently, many cancer patients living in rural or remote areas die without being diagnosed, or they are referred to a cancer center in a major city with late-stage disease.
Project Outreach is an initiative between Roche, the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia, key opinion leaders and national cancer associations, such as the Saudi Cancer Society. Started in 2013, the project aims to ensure that people living in remote areas are properly diagnosed and referred to specialists early enough to receive treatment.
The project includes a dedicated team of eight medical educators who travel remote areas of Saudi Arabia. The team’s role is to raise awareness of cancer, improve screening by local healthcare workers and provide referral information regarding cancer treating physicians in major cities.
|Location||Saudi Arabia, North Africa and Middle East|