Raising awareness of breast cancer in Algeria
Bring trained nurses, radiologists, other healthcare workers and much needed facilities to far-flung remote areas of Algeria.
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.
What we’re doing
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). This partnership was renewed in 2016 during Pink October, the Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
This 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. We support the training of local radiologists, nurses and other professionals, and equip the mammobile with the software for performing mammograms. We also support the logistics for the campaign in collaboration with El Amel and local authorities.
Through mobile mammography units in Algeria over 10,000 women have been screened since the initiative began in 2013.
The government reacted very positively to the mammobile campaign and the impact of the early screening on Algerian women. As a result, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika ordered the launch of a "Plan Cancer" since 2015, to increase cancer screening and improve early detection across the entire country.