Ministry of Health deploys GE mobile clinics that will screen 10,000 women for breast cancer in Saudi Arabia in 2012
HRH Princess Hessa Al-Shaalan, wife of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, has launched the Breast Cancer Screening Program in Riyadh. The initiative focuses on timely diagnosis, advanced treatment, increasing public awareness and encouraging research to reduce the incidence of breast cancer in the Kingdom.
Globally, breast cancer constitutes nearly 10% of all new cancer cases, and accounts for more than 1.6% of mortality in women. According to a recent report by Lancet (the world’s leading general medical journal) women diagnosed with breast cancer in the Middle East are almost 10 years younger than those diagnosed in the western countries, and most women diagnosed with breast cancer are in the advanced stage of the disease, underlining the importance of early breast cancer screening.
The program launched is a unique model of public private partnership which is supported by NGOs and backed by a grassroots delivery model that integrates the services of primary healthcare centres and the Non-Communicable Diseases Division of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health. For GE it falls under its Healthymagination commitment to enhance access to healthcare at lower costs.
The Breast Cancer Screening Program in the Kingdom was officially launched at an event held at King Fahad Medical City. At the launch, influential women from Saudi society demonstrated support to the Program led by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health along with GE, Saudi Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
The Program will roll out in the following four steps:
Step 1: Awareness
The process starts with an awareness campaign that is being run through a full integrated communications campaign. The campaign also has a dedicated website www.healthymagination.me, established by the Ministry of Health with the support of GE that offers extensive insight on breast cancer and the importance of early diagnosis.
Step 2: Booking Appointments
Women can book appointments through a breast cancer screening call center (800-249-4444) set up by the Ministry of Health with GE providing advisory services. Alternatively, appointments can be booked through the website www.healthymagination.me/breastcancer. The call centre will be operational from 8am to 3pm.
Step 3: Screening
The Ministry of Health has deployed three GE Healthymagination mobile clinics featuring female radiographers and other support staff to undertake the screening program. They will operate near the key primary care centres in Riyadh and feature advanced equipment including GE’s Senographe Essential for digital mammography. The mobile clinics will be located in Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz center – Dereiya, AlShefa, and Murabaa, from 8am to 4pm. The screening process is simple and can be completed in a short span of time.
Step 4: After Care
The Breast Cancer Screening Program is supported by King Fahad Medical City that has the latest technologies in diagnostics and screening. While King Fahad Medical City will help in driving timely medical care for those diagnosed with breast cancer at the screening.