Over two-thirds of all cancers in Algeria are diagnosed in late stage, and five-year survival is very low. In addition, the incidence of cancer, in particular breast cancer, has increased dramatically in the past two decades. Despite recent advances, a large number of women die from the disease primarily because of limited effective early detection, diagnosis and treatment strategies, particularly in rural areas.
Algeria is the largest country in Africa, and sparsely populated towns in the interior are far away from each other, making it difficult for the health authorities to build the necessary healthcare infrastructure to fight cancer.
In February 2013 the first mobile breast cancer screening facility was launched through a joint partnership between the government, patient advocacy group El Amel (Hope), mobile phone operator Mobilis and Roche.
A fully equipped truck, locally referred to as the ‘mammobile’, brings trained nurses, radiologists, other healthcare workers as well as much needed facilities to remote regions within Algeria. The goal is to combine cancer awareness campaigns with screening facilities so that women with breast cancer can be detected early and sent for treatment in larger regions. Roche supports the training of local radiologists, nurses and other professionals, and equips the mammobile with the software for performing mammograms.
Through mobile mammography units in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, over 350,000 women have been screened since the initiative began in the first country in 2010. In 2013 alone, over 100,000 women have been screened.
|Location||North Africa and Middle East, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria|