Although breast cancer is estimated to be the second most common cancer in Kyrgyzstan, there is a lack of clinical guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, in addition to specific guidance regarding metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Furthermore, essential cancer medicines are absent from Kyrgyzstan’s essential medicines’ list. In order to address these issues, Public Foundation Ergene (referred to as Ergene) designed a project aimed at increasing awareness of MBC patients and the care they need. Ergene has coordinated the development of MBC resource-adapted guidelines, a patient information booklet and have advocated for essential cancer medicines to be added to Kyrgyzstan’s list, in order to enhance equitable access to cancer care.
Ergene is a non-profit organisation founded in August 2006 in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The organisation’s aim is to promote a better quality of life for the general population by supporting and advancing public health and developing cancer control programmes locally and regionally. They deliver breast cancer control programmes in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and other government departments.
“The SPARC grant enabled us to change doctors’ attitudes towards MBC patients. It enabled us to build the capacity of our organisation in managing advanced breast cancer. We obtained tools for advocating and an increased trust from the Kyrgyz community.”
Public Foundation Ergene was awarded a SPARC MBC Challenge grant in 2017 in order to strengthen national policies for advanced breast cancer patients in Kyrgyzstan. Ergene established an MBC working group including oncologists, breast cancer survivors and experts from the European School of Oncology to engage key stakeholders and experts. The working group drafted national clinical guidelines for the management of MBC adapted to the economic capacity of the country. In addition, the group drafted a rationale for the inclusion of MBC drugs in the national essential medicines’ list.
In order to increase awareness and support patients, Ergene developed an evidence-based MBC patient information booklet in plain and simple language, which was approved by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health. This booklet was made available to patients in digital and printed formats and shared via meetings, newspapers, Ergene’s website, and through social media.
Achieving their goal, Ergene successfully developed national clinical guidelines on MBC, which have been approved by the Kyrgyz Ministry of Health. Furthermore, as a result of their advocacy work, three medicines have been added to the Kyrgyzstan essential medicines’ list (Gemcitabine, Anastrozole, Trastuzumab). The information booklet they have developed was translated into Russian, Kyrgyz and Uzbek languages and continues to be available to breast cancer and MBC patients to help them navigate their diagnosis and treatment.
Organisation's website: Public Foundation Ergene (in Kyrgyz, Russian and English)
Video: World Cancer Day (in Russian)
Document: Patient Guide “Bridle the Disease!” with stage III breast cancer (in Russian)
Document: Resolution of the government of the Kyrgyz Republic (in Russian)
 GLOBOCAN 2018
(Information from the project description and context is compiled from the SPARC reports)