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Zayed Sustainability Prize's Beyond2020 Initiative Deploys Life-saving Digital Mammograms in Costa Rica

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AI-powered mammography services will help detect breast cancer cases among women living in underprivileged communities across Costa Rica

ABU DHABI, UAE, April 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Beyond2020, the flagship initiative launched by the Zayed Sustainability Prize, the UAE’s pioneering award for sustainability and humanitarianism, today announced the deployment of AI-powered mammography services across Costa Rica to support the early detection and treatment of breast cancer for women living in underprivileged communities.

A technician prepares the mammography machine provided by Mamotest, equipped with an AI-based platform, for precise and efficient breast cancer screenings in the mobile unit.
A technician prepares the mammography machine provided by Mamotest, equipped with an AI-based platform, for precise and efficient breast cancer screenings in the mobile unit.

The initiative will significantly enhance access to high quality healthcare for women in the region. 8,000 tests will be conducted annually using the AI-based mammography services, which have been deployed in Juan Pablo II Medical Centre in Cartago, with plans to deploy the services in additional health facilities in the future.

A cutting-edge mobile unit has also been deployed, reaching underserved areas across Costa Rica where access to healthcare may be limited. The mobile unit is owned and operated by CENRAD, which has reached 840 women across 13 locations since January.

The Beyond2020 deployment in Costa Rica was carried out by the 2022 Zayed Sustainability Prize winner Mamotest, an Argentina-based health-tech SME and Latin America’s first tele-mammography network, which has provided low-cost healthcare to more than 750,000 patients and promoted awareness for millions in the region.

H.E. Rawdha Alotaiba, Ambassador, UAE Embassy in Costa Rica, said: "Further strengthening the bilateral relations between UAE and Costa Rica, Beyond2020 and its partners are pleased to introduce a project that will enhance the prosperity and wellbeing of 8,000 women annually in Costa Rica, particularly women in remote and underprivileged communities. As we extend the UAE’s humanitarian efforts worldwide, we are dedicated to carrying forward Sheikh Zayed’s humanitarian legacy while supporting collective action to improve lives."

Cindy Quesada Hernández, Ministry of the Status of Women (MSW), Costa Rica, stated: "Promoting a preventive culture and self-care contributes to women in Costa Rica leading healthier lives. Consequently, we express our sincerest gratitude to Beyond2020 and its valuable partners for their significant contribution to the progress of this goal. Their commitment to sustainability and humanitarian aid has changed the lives of the communities they serve, laying the foundation for a more just society for all."

In 2022, Costa Rica reported 1,344 new breast cancer cases and 423 breast cancer deaths. Studies find that women from disadvantaged communities have lower rates of breast cancer detection, treatment, and survival compared to women from more affluent areas. By extending Mamotest’s services to rural areas in Costa Rica with limited resources, Beyond2020 is helping to advance health equity and improve access to quality care for thousands of women. Mamotest is the result of Guillermo Pepe’s vision, who always heard first-hand of the huge difference early breast cancer detection could make in saving lives from his father, a doctor specialised in breast imaging diagnosis.

"We strive to overcome hurdles with innovation, perseverance, and a deep sense of purpose, ensuring that every woman receives the timely and accurate care she deserves. Our platform ensures 100 percent traceability of patients and provides continuous follow-up until they receive treatment. By harnessing the power of artificial intelligence, Mamotest detects anomalies often overlooked by human observation, significantly improving early-stage detection," shared Pepe.

After winning the Zayed Sustainability Prize in 2022, Mamotest expanded operations of its state-of-the-art diagnostic centres beyond Argentina to Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Spain. Now, they work with existing labs to provide high-quality mammograms at low cost, enabling women to overcome geographical, technological, and economic barriers to access healthcare. The data-driven, end-to-end solution has increased breast cancer survival rates, with improved access to both treatment and medicine.

Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: "Accessible and affordable mammograms have the potential to significantly enhance women’s quality of life. Beyond2020 and its partners are glad to play a part in making Costa Rica more responsive to the health needs of its citizens, particularly women. The deployment also builds community awareness on the power of preventative healthcare to empower individuals, promote early detection, and ultimately save lives, fostering a healthier and more resilient society."

Beyond2020 brings together a leading number of partners, which include Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, BNP Paribas, Mubadala Energy and Masdar.

As part of Beyond2020’s impact to date, a total of 18 deployments have been rolled out, including energy, health, water and food-related solutions, transforming the lives of over 229,800 people in the following countries: Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Jordan, Egypt, Cambodia, Madagascar, Indonesia, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Rwanda, Peru, Lebanon, Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Costa Rica. India and Colombia have been identified as deployment grounds for future initiatives. 

About the Zayed Sustainability Prize

The Zayed Sustainability Prize is a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The Prize aims to drive sustainable development and humanitarian action by recognising and rewarding organisations and high schools that are delivering innovative sustainable solutions across the categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water, Climate Action and Global High Schools.

For 16 years, through its 117 winners, the Prize has positively impacted the lives of 384 million people around the world.

About Beyond2020

Beyond2020 provides critical, life-changing solutions beneficiaries worldwide, leveraging technology for good and fostering inclusive and sustainable development. Beyond2020’s impact to date includes 18 deployments that have transformed the lives of over 229,800 people in Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, Jordan, Egypt, Cambodia, Madagascar, Indonesia, Bangladesh, The Philippines, Rwanda, Peru, Lebanon, Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Costa Rica.

Source : Zayed Sustainability Prize's Beyond2020 Initiative Deploys Life-saving Digital Mammograms in Costa Rica

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