New Delhi: India will soon have its first cancer detection unit thanks to London based – NRI Paul Chawla and his friends British First lady Cherie Blair, Sarah Kennedy (Wife Of Liberal Democratic Chief Charles Kennedy). British MPs Simon Hughes and John Prescott and former minister Baroness Amos.
The first unit designed by radiologist Col C S Pant and to be run by Chawla’s NGO Roko cancer appeal, will launched on December 18 in Amritsar. Over the next three months, the organization plans to launch similar detection units in several Indian states.
For women living in rural areas of India, the launch of mobile breast screening unit will give voice to those who may not have anyone else to champion their health
The fully-equipped units will undertake mammograms and ultrasound tests, traveling from one village to another Breast cancer is a major disease in India. In some parts of the country, the illness is shrouded in secrecy and stigma. Over 80,000 women, most of whom suffer from lack of awareness, are diagnosed with disease every year. As many as 30,000 women’s die of it annually.
Chawla said: “There is a wall of silence surrounding breast cancer not just in India but also in the UK. Women in some of our communities in the UK are shying away from talking about an illness which can only be treated through open dialogue and this in society where breast cancer enjoys huge government and public support. In India, the contrast is more marked, so it is our aim that with the use of the unit, women will be encouraged to put their health first.”
Col Pant added: “The mobile unit costs Rs 60 lakhs and has the latest equipment. Every month, we plan to check 250 women. We will soon have similar unit in Delhi, Haryana and Maharashtra.”
Patron Cherie Blair declared: “For women living in semi-urban and rural areas of India who may not have access to have services, the launch of the unit will give voice to those who may not have anyone to champion their health.”