RSNA & GE HealthCare Collab to Bring Advanced Mammography Technology to Tanzania

The largest public hospital in the country will receive the latest mammography tech and hands-on training to improve breast cancer detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Katie Hobbins, Managing Editor

April 19, 2024

3 Min Read
Global Learning Center
Image courtesy of the Radiological Society of North America

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women world-wide. In developing countries like Tanzania, breast cancer is also a major cause of cancer mortality, with more than 80% of diagnoses happening at stage III or IV when survivability odds become much lower.

To improve access to breast cancer screenings and help local clinicians lower the countries cancer mortality rates, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and GE HealthCare recently announced a collaboration to provide mammography technology, training, and educational tools to radiologists at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), which is part of Muhimbili University of Health and Sciences (MUHAS) in Tanzania. The public hospital serving Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city, did not have a working mammography machine.

RSNA developed the Global Learning Center (GLC) program to help strengthen radiology education and patient care with established radiology departments in low- or middle-resourced countries. Through the program, RSNA members work with an institution for three years to develop a customized curriculum with in-person, hands-on training, lectures, conferences, online courses, as well as other educational offerings. Since the programs introduction in 2020, RSNA has established sites in South Africa, Tanzania, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Armenia.

"RSNA's [GLC] program was designed to expand radiology education across the world and foster international collaborations,” said Umar Mahmood, MD, PhD, chair of RSNAs board of directors, in the press release announcing the collaboration. “Through this collaboration with GE HealthCare, we are able to work with local stakeholders at [MNH] to advance a breast imaging curriculum, provide in-person hands-on training in mammography, and offer online courses, technical assistance, and virtual support. Bringing this critical training and technology to MUHAS will improve access to quality patient care throughout the region and save lives."

MUHAS, which is part of the GLC program, is funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.


As part of the new collaboration with GE HealthCare, the company will install the Pristina Mammography Suite at MUHAS, which includes 2D and 3D digital breast tomosynthesis, contrast enhanced mammography (CEM), CEM biopsy capabilities, and a Seno Iris workstation. GE HealthCare will also provide maintenance of the system with no change to the university.

Around 20 nurses, radiologists, and technicians will be involved in the suite, and receive live trainings to cover the operation of the system, image interpretation, patient care, video tutorials, case study learning, physician engagement from a peer learning network, and when training is completed, a GE HealthCare-issued certification.

Along with providing hands on training and equipment, the collaboration will also work to raise awareness to Tanzanians about the importance of screenings and early detection.

"GE HealthCare is committed to helping reduce disparities in care and improving access to medical imaging worldwide,” said Jan Makela, president and CEO of imaging at GE HealthCare, in the release. “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. 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."

About the Author(s)

Katie Hobbins

Managing Editor, MD+DI

Katie Hobbins is managing editor for MD+DI and joined the team in July 2022. She boasts multiple previous editorial roles in print and multimedia medical journalism, including dermatology, medical aesthetics, and pediatric medicine. She graduated from Cleveland State University in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and promotional communications. She enjoys yoga, hand embroidery, and anything DIY. You can reach her at [email protected].

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