Improving knowledge of health and building healthcare capacity is a priority for the Ministry of Health of Turkey. To create new models in cancer control and reduce cancer mortality rates, the ministry has built Cancer Early Diagnosis Screening and Training Centres (KETEMs) throughout the country.
The KETEMs are equipped with the latest diagnostic equipment and conduct screening programmes for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. The centres also serve to drive awareness of the importance of prevention and early diagnosis in cancer.
In 2009 we helped launch the project and gave financial support to build the first two KETEMs in the capital city of Turkey, Ankara.
Awareness of the importance of prevention and early diagnosis in increasing the chances of survival is paramount in fighting cancer. So we partnered with the Ministry of Health to organise training sessions for healthcare professionals and the public, and to improve early stage diagnosis in line with established screening standards.
As part of the drive to raise awareness and encourage people to visit KETEMs, we supported the nationwide Blue Bicycle: Hit the Road for Cancer, an early diagnosis campaign in partnership with the Turkish Bicycle Federation and Ministry of Health. Participants in the bike ride, which was held each year from 2006 to 2011, completed six laps of a course that passed through 26 cities, and involved over >10,000 people. We made a donation on behalf of each participant to KETEMs in all cities visited by the riders. During the event, local medical doctors in each city conducted cancer seminars for the public.
Since we supported building the first two KETEMs in 2009, the project was taken over by the Ministry of Health and today there are around 1,200 KETEMs located throughout the country. At least 23 of the KETEMS are mobile and they are designed to render services nearly up to 250,000 people.
The national awareness campaigns, taking place from 2009 to 2016, has potentially reached millions of people in Turkey.
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