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Breast cancer screening program in Morocco Status of implementation, organization and performance

Breast Cancer Screening Program was introduced and rolled out in Morocco in 2010. Women between 40 and 69 years are screened at the primary health centers (PHC) with clinical breast examination (CBE). A comprehensive evaluation of the program was conducted in 2016-2017 for quality assurance and mid-term course correction. The evaluation process involved: in-depth interviews of program managers; focus group discussions with service-providers of screening, diagnosis and treatment; supportive supervisory visits to randomly selected PHCs and diagnostic centers; desk review of the national guidelines and other published documents; and analysis of the performance data compiled by the program-in-charge. We found that the program has strong political support, a well-organized management structure and documented national policy and protocol. In absence of a mechanism to identify and invite the eligible women individually, the program is opportunistic in nature. Every PHC is provided with an annual target to be screened. A highly visible annual campaign to educate and motivate women has a major impact on participation. Record keeping and data collection are paper-based. In the years 2015 and 2016, 1.1 and 1.5 million women were screened, respectively. In the year 2015, 62.8% of the annual target population was covered, CBE positivity was 3.2%, a further assessment rate of screen-positive women was 34.1% and the breast cancer detection rate was 1.0/1000 women. Systematic paper-based data collection enabled the assessment of some of the process and outcome indicators. The screening coverage was moderate and the cancer detection rate was low.


Basu, P., Selmouni, F., Belakhel, L., Sauvaget, C., Abousselham, L., Lucas, E., ... Khazraji, Y. C. (2018). Breast cancer screening program in Morocco: Status of implementation, organization and performance. International Journal of Cancer, 143(12), 3273-3280. https://doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31749

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