Here is an important initiative which aims to reach out to cancer patients in rural India, who do not have access to quality health care. As reported in the Times of India, Bangalore, nearly 75% of cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage. To reach out to the rural population, the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation (MSMF) in collaboration with Narayana Health (Narayana Hrudayalaya) last Tuesday launched the Rural Cancer Surveillance Programme.
In this initiative, a team of four doctors, along with two social workers and two medical staff, will travel to rural areas across the state and will conduct cervical, oral and breast cancer screening. Treatment to persons with cancer will be provided at MSMF every Tuesdays. Free treatment will be provided for poor patients.
Dr. Devi Shetty, chairman, Narayana Health said in an interview that over 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas and they have access to only one-third of hospital beds. The article also mentions the total number of cases (approximately) which are reported annually in India:
Mouth cancer — 2.65 lakh
Cervical cancer — 1.5 lakh
Breast cancer — 1 lakh
This is a great step towards helping people in remote areas get better access to health care. Initially, this team will visit the Atibele, Anekal and Jigani villages on the outskirts of Bangalore. Thus, we need, more such partnerships and initiatives all across in India.