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Egypt: Women’s health unit project
Case Study: Egypt
Women’s health unit project


At present, the only way to decrease the mortality and morbidity from breast cancer is to detect it before the patient presents with symptoms. Towards this direction the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in partnership with the Ministry of Health launched a national breast screening program under the patronage of her Excellency Mrs. Suzan Mubarak – the First Lady of Egypt. This initiative is a Government Funded service that offers free breast screening to Egyptian women above the age of 45 years old. In addition to free mammograms, the program also offers screening for diabetes, hypertension and Body Mass Index - BMI as well. Positive cases are given the option of free management. The Screening Program consists of mobile and static mammography units placed in general hospitals which are connected to the Main Center of Excellency in Cairo through Satellite and Leased Lines connectivity so that images can be transmitted from the remote units (mobile and static units) to the main center for diagnosis by senior radiology consultants. Based on the findings of their initial mammograms, patients will be directed to the nearest hospital to receive adequate treatment and follow up. So far all the introduced services are free of charge including treatment, the only requirement is the National ID of the lady under inspection.


  Geographic areas :  




The following lists the locations visited by the Mammography Mobile Clinics:


    In Great Cairo
      1. Zeinhom, El-Sayeda Zeinab
      2. Helwan
      3. 6th of October city
      4. Bolak El Dakrour
      5. El Doweka
      6. El Basateen
      7. Dar El Salam
      8. Midan El Giza
      9. Dahab island, El Monib
      10. El Haram
      11.Al Mokattam
      12.Nasr City
      13.Torra, El Maadi
      15.Shobra El Kheima
      16.El Mattareya
      17.El Zawya El Hamra
    In other governorates
      2.El Behaira
      3.Kafr El Dawar
      5. Suez
  Expansion of the project:
    The up mentioned locations was visited since the project started in 2007 up to December 2009 serving about a million ladies above 45 out of them 50,000 were screened.
    The plan for this year 2010 will cover Elmenia, Asyut, Sohag, Qena, Luxor, Aswan and El Wadi El Gadid to serve about 1.3 million ladies above 45.
    The plan for this year 2011 will cover Shakeya, Dakahlya, Damietta, Kafr El Sheikh, Gharbia, Monofia to serve about 2 million ladies above 45.

The plan for this year 2012 will cover Qalyobia, Fayoum, Beny Swief, Red Sea,  to serve about a million ladies above 45.

    So far about 60,000 ladies were screened 



    What is the procedure to use Mobile Unit?

Any lady above 45 years old at her choice will come to the nearest Mobile Mammo Clinic to register using her National ID at the administration office where she will be informed with the exact time to come for screening session, after the screening session she will be informed again when to come to receive the diagnostic report.


    Is the use of unit paid?

So far the service is free of charge and donations are highly appreciated through the declared channels.


    Is there any possibility to use the same system for other diseases? Which?
      Since these clinics are equipped with Mammogram machines, they are used only for the purpose of breast Cancer but as mentioned in the introduction the units also offer screening for diabetes, hypertension and Body Mass Index – BMI.


    Which challenges did you face during the implementation of project?  

On the top of these challenges the optimal design and hence the perfect technical specifications that should be addressed in the RFP concerning many issues like the bad road conditions in Egypt passing through careless drivers and the very sophisticated and sensitive Mammogram machine devices and components. Another issue was that most of the ladies don't know when the best time to begin screenings and the intervals at which they should be repeated also most of them are afraid that these mammogram exams are not infallible since they are not aware about its guidelines. Finally the service was not commonly known at the beginning until they heard about  on the Radio and TV ads.


    Did the unit help to detect the cancer in the earliest step?
      That is possible if the lady came for inspection in the proper time since the disease life cycle has 4 stages, over 90% of the very early 1st and 2nd stage cases are most likely to overcome the disease, over 70% of 3rd stage could recover.


    Does the Unit operate in rural areas?

That is the first targeted areas and population, and that is why the idea of Mobile Mammogram Clinic came through to minimize cost and efforts  the patient has to pay before to get into the Radiology Centers in the main cities.


    How many employees do you have for this project?  

About 25 persons in different categories.


    What is your recommendation if somebody would like to implement the same project?

To consult MCIT for the proper design specs and the adequate staff to hire and the needed Hardware and Software applications.


    Are you looking for the partners?
      Sure to increase the operation capacity through increasing the number of units as well as train more staff and overall keep the service free of charge.


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