TANZANIA—In a landmark collaboration, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and GE Healthcare have teamed up to enhance breast cancer detection and treatment in Tanzania.

The partnership aims to equip radiologists at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), part of the Muhimbili University of Health and Sciences (MUHAS), with cutting-edge mammography technology and comprehensive training.

This significant announcement was made on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, coinciding with the unveiling of the breast center at Muhimbili National Hospital, where GE Healthcare and RSNA will celebrate this collaborative effort.

Muhimbili National Hospital, the largest public hospital in Tanzania, will be the recipient of the latest mammography technology as part of this initiative.

The objective is to empower clinicians to enhance the detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer across the country, ultimately aiming to lower Tanzania’s alarming 50% breast cancer mortality rate through early detection and expanded clinical education.

Notably, prior to this collaboration, MNH at MUHAS lacked a functional mammography machine, posing significant challenges in early diagnosis.

As part of the collaboration, GE Healthcare will install the Pristina Mammography Suite at MUHAS, incorporating state-of-the-art technology such as 2D and 3D digital breast tomosynthesis and Contrast Enhanced Mammography (CEM).

Additionally, GE Healthcare will provide maintenance of the system at no charge to the university.

The initiative will involve approximately twenty nurses, radiologists, and technicians who will undergo comprehensive training, including hands-on sessions, to ensure proficient operation of the system.

Moreover, the collaboration aims to raise awareness about the significance of breast cancer screening and early detection among Tanzanians.

Speaking during the announcement, Jan Makela, President and CEO of Imaging at GE Healthcare, emphasized the company’s commitment to reducing healthcare disparities globally and improving access to medical imaging.

He underscored the potential of their collaboration with RSNA to bring life-saving mammography technology to MUHAS and thousands of women across Tanzania.

In Tanzania, breast cancer ranks as the second leading cause of cancer mortality among women, with over 80% of diagnoses occurring at advanced stages, severely impacting long-term survivability.

The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer in the country is approximately one in twenty, with around half of all diagnosed cases resulting in fatalities.

Breast cancer transcends borders and socioeconomic backgrounds, affecting women worldwide. Recognizing this global challenge, RSNA has developed the Global Learning Center (GLC) program to enhance radiology education and patient care in low- and middle-resourced countries like Tanzania.

MUHAS is a beneficiary of the RSNA GLC program, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

For his part, Umar Mahmood, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the RSNA Board of Directors, highlighted the Global Learning Center program’s role in expanding radiology education worldwide and fostering international partnerships.

Through this collaboration with GE Healthcare, RSNA aims to advance breast imaging curriculum, provide hands-on training, and offer technical assistance to enhance patient care and save lives in Tanzania.

Since its inception in 2020, the RSNA GLC program has established sites in various countries, including South Africa, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Armenia, furthering its mission to improve global healthcare standards.

For all the latest healthcare industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, and YouTube Channel, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, and like us on Facebook.