Impact magazine's November 2013 issue features an article about the work Radiologists without Borders and Hologic are doing in Honduras and Tanzania. The original article can be viewed here: RWB Impact Magazine 112013
The article from Impact magazine is reproduced below:
Breast cancer affects women throughout the world, in both developed and developing countries. In underdeveloped countries, such as Honduras and Tanzania, the lack of screening programs means the majority of breast cancers are diagnosed in very late stages. Yet early detection remains the key to improved outcomes and survival, which is why Dr. Tariq Gill, Director of Radiologists Without Borders, is partnering with Hologic to bring much needed mammography equipment and life-saving screening exams to the women of Honduras and Tanzania.
Dr. Gill founded Radiologists Without Borders, a non-profit volunteer organization based in Florida, to provide people in underserved countries access to life-saving diagnostic imaging, training and support. Radiologists Without Borders motto says it all, “Saving Lives, One Image at a Time.”
In 2009, Dr. Gill met the Chairman of Radiology at Hospital Escuela, the teaching hospital for the University of Honduras School of Medicine—the only public hospital in Honduras. At the time, only private hospitals in Honduras had mammography equipment, and only well-to-do patients had access. Prior to the meeting, Hologic had donated two mammography units to Hospital Escuela, but the hospital did not have radiologists trained to read the cases. Working with Radiologists Without Borders, the hospital developed and implemented the first public breast cancer screening program in Honduras.
“The response to this equipment is awesome; words alone cannot describe it. You have to be there to see the difference it has made,” states Dr. Gill.
With the help of Radiologists Without Borders and Hologic, the Hospital Escuela has expanded from a single X-ray machine and ultrasound to a full-fledged imaging department with two mammography units, two CT scans, an angiography suite, new ultrasound equipment, as well as MRI capabilities. In addition, the hospital has established a joint residency program with the University of Honduras and Albany Medical Center in New York.
Radiologists Without Borders is also working to bring breast screening programs to Tanzania. The organization has been providing services in Tanzania since 2009, but the country did not have any breast screening programs for the general public until 2012, when Hologic donated two mammography systems to Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, a teaching hospital located in the capital city of Dar es Salaam. Today, the University hospital provides the country’s only breast cancer screening program.
In partnership with Muhimbili University and Lourdes Hospital in New York, Radiologists Without Borders brought Tanzanian doctors to New York for three weeks of intensive training on the latest mammography equipment and techniques. “We established the partnership between the University and Lourdes Hospital to train radiologists and technicians on how to establish and maintain a breast screening program,” Dr. Gill explains. “They learn up-to-date strategies on breast cancer prevention and early detection, as well as diagnosis and treatment options.”
The goal isn’t to be content with just one public mammography site; Radiologists Without Borders wants to expand breast screening programs throughout Tanzania. One of the technicians trained in New York now works for the Ministry of Health in Tanzania and is responsible for developing breast screening programs throughout the country. In addition, Hologic donated a third mammography system, the country’s first 2D system, which will become part of the residency program at the University. This will enable the hospital to move the two existing systems to clinics outside of the city.
“We’re very proud of what has been accomplished thus far,” concludes Dr. Gill. “Hologic’s donations are providing the foundation for the first public breast screening programs in Honduras and Tanzania.”
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