RSNA and GE HealthCare Bring Advanced Mammography Technology to Tanzania to Improve Access and Help Address Breast Cancer Mortality Rate

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  • Radiologists at Muhimbili National Hospital, part of the Muhimbili University of Health and Sciences and the largest public hospital in Tanzania, will receive the latest mammography technology and advanced imaging training to help clinicians improve detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer in the country.
  • The project aims to help lower Tanzania’s 50% breast cancer mortality rate through early detection and efforts to expand clinical education.

CHICAGO, April 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Today the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and GE HealthCare (Nasdaq: GEHC) announced their collaboration to provide mammography technology, training and educational tools to radiologists at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), part of the Muhimbili University of Health and Sciences (MUHAS), in Tanzania to improve access to screening and help clinicians lower the country’s breast cancer mortality rate.

MNH at MUHAS is a public hospital serving Dar es Salaam, the largest city in Tanzania, and did not have a working mammography machine. For women in Tanzania, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality,[1] with more than 80% of diagnoses happening at stage III or IV when the odds of long-term survivability are much lower.[2] Additionally, the lifetime risk for developing breast cancer is approximately one in twenty, and approximately half of all women diagnosed with breast cancer in the country die of the disease.[3]

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, affecting both developed and developing countries.[4] Its impact transcends borders, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds. To help improve radiology education and patient care around the world, RSNA developed the Global Learning Center (GLC) program that works to create learning centers with established radiology departments based in low- or middle-resourced countries, like Tanzania. Through this program, a team of RSNA members works with the institution over three years to develop a customized curriculum with in-person, hands-on training, didactic lectures, conferences, online courses and other education offerings. MUHAS is part of the RSNA GLC program and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

As part of the new agreement, GE HealthCare will install the Pristina Mammography Suite, which includes 2D and 3D digital breast tomosynthesis, Contrast Enhanced Mammography (CEM), CEM Biopsy capabilities and a Seno Iris workstation, at MUHAS, as well as provide maintenance of the system at no charge to the university.

Approximately twenty nurses, radiologists and techs will be involved with the mammography suite. Live trainings under the grant will cover operation of the system, image interpretation, patient care, video tutorials, case study learning, engagement of physicians in a peer learning network and, upon course completion, a GE HealthCare-issued certification.

In addition to improving the level of radiologic practice and breast care throughout the region, the collaboration between GE HealthCare, MUHAS and RSNA will also work to raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer screening and early detection among Tanzanians.

“GE HealthCare is committed to helping reduce disparities in care and improving access to medical imaging worldwide. One of the ways we honor this commitment is through our continued pursuit of innovative imaging technology. Another way we honor this commitment is by working with organizations, like RSNA, to leverage our different strengths and engage the global community to help break down barriers to care,” said Jan Makela – President and CEO of Imaging at GE HealthCare. “With breast cancer mortality rates in Tanzania among the highest globally, our work with RSNA will help bring much-needed mammography technology to MUHAS.  Early detection can save lives, and we believe this combination of technology, training and educational tools has the potential to help thousands of women across Tanzania.”

Since the RSNA GLC program’s introduction in 2020, RSNA has established sites in South Africa, Tanzania, Ecuador, Indonesia and Armenia.

“RSNA’s Global Learning Center program was designed to expand radiology education across the world and foster international collaborations. Through this collaboration with GE HealthCare, we are able to work with local stakeholders at Muhimbili National Hospital to advance a breast imaging curriculum, provide in-person hands-on training in mammography, and offer online courses, technical assistance and virtual support,” said Umar Mahmood, M.D., Ph.D. – chair of the RSNA Board of Directors. “Bringing this critical training and technology to MUHAS will improve access to quality patient care throughout the region and save lives.”

GE HealthCare and RSNA will join the team at Muhimbili National Hospital to celebrate this collaboration on Wednesday, April 17, 2024 at the breast center’s unveiling. For more information about Muhimbili National Hospital, visit mnh.or.tz.

About GE HealthCare Technologies Inc.

GE HealthCare is a leading global medical technology, pharmaceutical diagnostics, and digital solutions innovator, dedicated to providing integrated solutions, services, and data analytics to make hospitals more efficient, clinicians more effective, therapies more precise, and patients healthier and happier. Serving patients and providers for more than 125 years, GE HealthCare is advancing personalized, connected, and compassionate care, while simplifying the patient’s journey across the care pathway. Together our Imaging, Ultrasound, Patient Care Solutions, and Pharmaceutical Diagnostics businesses help improve patient care from diagnosis, to therapy, to monitoring. We are a $19.6 billion business with approximately 51,000 colleagues working to create a world where healthcare has no limits.

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About RSNA

RSNA is an association of radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Illinois. (RSNA.org)

  1. Ngwa W, Addai BW, Adewole I, et al. Cancer in sub-Saharan Africa: a Lancet Oncology Commission. Lancet Oncol. 2022;23(6):e251-e312. doi:10.1016/ S1470-2045(21)00720-8
  2. Tanzania Breast Health Care Assessment 2017. An assessment of breast cancer early detection, diagnosis and treatment in Tanzania. Retrieved from https:// ww5.komen.org/uploadedFiles/_Komen/Content/What_We_Do/Around_the_World/Africa/Tanzania-BHCA-2017.pdf.
  3. Parkin, D.M. (2003) Cancer in Africa: Epidemiology and Prevention. IARC Publications No. 153.

SOURCE Radiological Society of North America (RSNA)


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