Education and Support for Women in Colombia

Partnership objectives

  1. Training healthcare professionals on the different types of cancers so that they can be detected at an earlier stage.
  2. Developing and delivering programs that focus on appropriate and prompt management of cancer.

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 is working hand-in-hand with some of Colombia’s largest healthcare organizations on a broad range of healthcare awareness and prevention programs. Copyright Roche

What are the health needs and challenges?

Colombia is improving the delivery of healthcare services, but increasing access to innovative treatments and improving support for serious chronic diseases such as cancer remain among the country’s greatest challenges.

Breast cancer, for example, is the cause of the highest number of female deaths from cancer, about 2,200 annually. According to the National Cancer Institute in Colombia, approximately 7,000 new cases of breast cancer are reported every year. However, as 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.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

As the world leader in oncology, Roche is working hand-in-hand with some of Colombia’s largest healthcare organizations on a broad range of healthcare awareness and prevention programs, such as:

Women Consulting Rooms: In 2012, Roche introduced a country-wide initiative called “Women Consulting Rooms”, or “Consultorios para la mujer”, dedicated to women. Trained healthcare professionals provide awareness of diseases and diagnostic testing enabling early detection of diseases, such as breast cancer. The first room opened in the San Juan de Dios Hospital in Cali, Colombia’s third-largest city.

Health awareness in Jails: Roche is promoting breast cancer awareness and prevention in Colombian jails, which house approximately 6,500 women. The project started in 2013 in the Buen Pastor jail in Bogotá in collaboration with the National Prison and Penitentiary Institute (INPEC).

Patient support programs: Roche established the “Tiempo de vivir” - (Time to Live) program to provide broad support for cancer patients, their families and caregivers. The program offers education on how to manage the disease, the importance of adhering to treatment according to the instructions of the physician, as well as non-pharmacological management of adverse events. Roche also provides supporting materials with information on nutrition and healthy living habits, and conduct workshops, such as art therapy, and support groups. 

Patients have access to telephone support from a team of specialized advisors and nurses. Additionally, in major cities, nurses accompany a patient to infusion rooms during treatment. A nurse may also visit a patient in their home, providing an information kit about the program. The support team then monitors the patient’s progress and invites them to workshops and conferences to learn about managing the physical and psychological impacts of cancer.

Summary of impact and forward looking information 

By 2015, 128 Women Consulting Rooms have been established in 63 cities throughout Colombia. Over 130,000 women have visited the Consulting rooms, and as a result, nearly 800 women have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.

In addition, Roche has expanded the Patient Support Programs to cover other diseases such as arthritis, cystic fibrosis, transplantation and patients with anemia. These programs support over 10,000 patients all over the country.


Improve the delivery of healthcare in Colombia

Partnership information

Company(ies) Roche

Partner(s) Colombian Ministry of Health, Local hospitals & health centers & patient groups, National Prison and Penitentiary Institute (INPEC)

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, Government

Therapeutic Focus Non-Communicable Diseases, Women and Children's Health, Other

Disease(s) Arthritis & Osteoperosis, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children's Health, Respiratory Diseases, Surgical Care, Women's Health

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Outreach & Medical Services, Prevention Programs - Awareness & Outreach

Targeted Population(s) Children, Women, Youth

Region(s) Latin America & Caribbean

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Colombia

Start Date 2013

More information Roche Responsibility

Anticipated completion date Ongoing