The Cape Verde islands experience a high burden of non-communicable diseases, the most significant being cardiovascular-related diseases, diabetes and cancer. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, in 2017, cancer was the second cause of death in Cape Verde (17.9%).
In Santiago Island, the Hospital Agostinho Neto (HAN) has a unit for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer which includes surgery and chemotherapy and treats most of the cancer patients because it is the only cancer centre on the island and the most important in the country.
Medical facilities and adequate medical equipment are still a big challenge for the government. The healthcare facilities in Cape Verde are limited. Medicines may be in short supply too. Praia and Mindelo are home to the largest hospitals in the country. The islands of Brava and Santo Antão no longer have functioning airports so air evacuation in the event of a medical emergency is nearly impossible from these two islands. There is also limited inter-island ferry service. There is not many health clinics equipped with high tech machines to detect the early stages a breast cancer and other pathologies.
Many people are dying from preventable disease because of lack of diagnose machines such as: a mammographer, MRI, CAT scan etc. Many are placed on waiting list for up to one year to be evacuated to Europe or America. The fortunate ones or those with some financial means will have a chance to be evacuated. It takes more one year for a simple mammography test.
Disseminated cancers have potential of being cured or the patients’ lives prolonged considerably. With appropriate care, the survival rate increases, and reduces the mortality and the quality of life improves.
We propose to bring to the people of different islands these services in mobile health vehicles. These vehicles are equipped with the right technology and functionality to provide services in the community, thus avoiding evacuations and elevated costs to build hospitals.
We are asking for donations to acquire a mammography vehicle to diagnose early stages of breast cancer offering women a chance for treatment.
This is a two phases project.
Phase 1- the acquisition of a mammography vehicle;
Phase 2- The opening of a social health clinic equipped with all the imagery machines.
The objective of this project is to provide patients with opportunity to have an early diagnosis and a chance for treatment.
This project is supported by the Maecenata Foundation, Munich/Berlin: