Medical Women Association of Tanzania

We are establishing community-based programs for breast and cervical cancer screenings.


Cervical cancer accounts for 30 percent of the 21,000 cancer diagnoses in Tanzania each year, with breast cancer making up another six. Only 23 percent of new cases receive proper care and treatment and as many as 80 percent of patients put off seeking treatment until their cancer is at an advanced stage. Tanzania’s current health system is not adequately prepared to manage this scale of the burden from cancer. Only 17 facilities nationwide provide cervical cancer screenings and health care providers don’t have the current skills required for dealing with cancer. Furthermore, existing referral and tracking systems from communities to higher health facilities are weak. Women with HIV are three times more likely to have precancerous cervical lesions, progress to invasive cancer more quickly, and often present with advanced stage cancer.


MEWATA 1 established community-based programs for breast and cervical cancer screenings and a care program for early cancerous lesions in the regions of Mwanza, Mbeya and Iringa. Advocacy and resource mobilization efforts will focus on engaging with policymakers, members of Parliament, regional and district health management teams, as well as on counseling health teams and the community through campaigns, meetings and advocacy strategies. The primary focus of the program was on the Mwanza region, in close collaboration with Bugando Medical Center, which serves as the hub hospital, and where other facilities were trained on current cancer screening services. Standard training on how to build capacity for breast and cervical cancer screening was conducted in Mbeya and Iringa.


  • Bugando Medical Center
  • Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon
  • Tanzania Marketing and Communications (T-MARC)
  • Mbeya HIV/AIDS Network in Tanzania