Within the framework of the project jointly supported by the non-profit organisation Euroafricando and by ‘Centro di Riferimento Oncologico’ (CRO) in Aviano and funded by the Friuli – Venezia Giulia Region, Sitempro was awarded the supply of equipment to set up the first centre for breast and cervical cancer screening at the hospital in Sangmelima, Cameroon.
Live expectancy in Cameroon is about 54.59 years. As in many other sub-Saharan African countries, there is no universal public health care system; universal access to health care is not guaranteed and medical care is not free. According to the Cameroonian Ministry of Health, every year 14,000 persons are affected by cancer. More than half of them are women with cervical cancer (30%) or breast cancer (22%). In 2002 the Government set up a special department at the Ministry of Health to tackle this problem. However, still today 80% of women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer die in the following 12 months. These figures show that cervical and breast cancer is a true public health emergency.
The project is aimed at building institutional capacity for combating women’s cancer. To this end, a network will be set up to coordinate all centres involved (regional hospital in Bamenda, specialised hospital in Sangmelima, regional hospital in Garoua and National Committee for Action against Cancer) and to put in place a permanent screening campaign with a view to early diagnosis and improvement in life expectancy.