Mobile Breast Cancer Screening in Algeria

Partnership objective

Bring trained nurses, radiologists, other healthcare workers and much needed facilities to far-flung remote areas of Algeria.

Mammobil, a mobile mammography examination unit for detecting breast cancer in rural areas of Algeria. Mammobil, a mobile mammography examination unit for detecting breast cancer in rural areas of Algeria. Copyright Roche

What are the health needs and challenges?

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.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

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) and Roche. This partnership was renewed in 2016 during Pink October.

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. Roche supports the training of local radiologists, nurses and other professionals, and equips the mammobile with the software for performing mammograms. Roche also support the logistics for the campaign in collaboration with “El Amel” and local authorities.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Through mobile mammography units in Algeria over 10,000 women have been screened since the initiative began in 2013.

As a result of this campaign, in 2015 the Government launched "The National cancer Plan", sponsored by the president of Algeria Mr Abdelaziz Bouteflika.  One of the main objectives of the plan is to increase cancer screening and improve early detection across the entire country.

Partnership information

Company(ies) Roche

Partner(s) Algerian Ministry of Health, El Amel

Type of Partner(s) Government, NGOs

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

Disease(s) Breast Cancer, Cancer, Women's Health

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

Targeted Population(s) Women

Region(s) Middle East & North Africa

Number of Countries 1

Country(ies) Algeria

Start Date 2013

More information Roche Making Innovation Accessible

Anticipated completion date Ongoing