Breast cancer patients in Ethiopia often delay seeking treatment due to a lack of awareness. Even those that seek help early find that access to diagnostic and treatment services in most of the country’s healthcare facilities is limited, as is health professionals’ understanding of the disease.
Reduce morbidity and mortality resulting from breast cancer by increasing breast cancer awareness and understanding among both the public and health care providers.
- Community education: Improve public awareness and understanding of breast cancer, self-examination, and treatment options, through direct outreach, media, and print materials.
- Health care provider training: Conduct training in clinical examination, early detection, early referral, and treatment patterns. Develop and distribute standardized training manuals and guidelines for providers at each level of care.
- Leadership and media sensitisation: Conduct breast cancer awareness sessions with members of the press, government officials, and non-governmental organisations, recognising the pivotal roles they can play in amplifying the reach and impact of breast cancer awareness campaigns.
The DEAR Foundation Switzerland's initial support in 2021 enabled Dr. Biniyam Tefera - an oncologist at Adama Hospital and CEO of Bridge the Gap Ethiopia - to train of 30 doctors from five hospitals, 200 health extension workers, and 100 community and religious leaders. Together with his team at Bridge the Gap, Dr. Tefera also reached more than 10,000 others through media appearances, social media, and direct outreach, with two mass screening events held in 2021 and 2022 for both health workers and the general public.
This campaign has highlighted a critical issue: the primary cause of mortality and suffering among Ethiopian women with advanced cancer is the lack of awareness and understanding within the community, and among healthcare professionals and decision-makers.
During this period, Dr. Tefera further founded and led the first breast cancer patient and survivor support group in the country. His outstanding work has earned him both a Global Health Equity Scholarship in the US and a prestigious Mandela Washington Fellowship.