In view of the fact that prevention and early detection strategies are the key to effective treatment of cancer, the Foundation decided that outreach programmes would form the cornerstone of it activities. We conduct cancer detection camps and awareness generation programmes on prevention and early detection, especially in the remote rural areas.
Till date, the Indore Cancer Foundation has conducted more than 216 camps in Madhya Pradesh and the surrounding states of Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan & UP. The Foundation’s team of doctors and technicians has traveled anywhere from 10 km. to 1000 km. (a journey which can take up more than 20 hours).
Area covered by the Indore Cancer Foundation through its cancer camps.
The team provides its services completely free of cost. In many of the camps the logistics have also been looked after by the Foundation with the help of grants received from agencies like the World Health Organisation, Commonwealth of Australia and the Government of India under the National Cancer Control Programme. Where such support has not been available, social service organizations have stepped in – and we are grateful to the Rotary Clubs, the Lions Clubs and the many local social service organizations, which are doing commendable work.
Doctors of the Foundation examining a patient and noting his history at one of the rural cancer detection camps organized by us.
An anti tobacco hoarding put up during one of our camps.
For several years now, our outreach programmes have been almost exclusively organized with the district administrations. A few notable exceptions; the programme organised by Vision Narmada and another by the Intazamia Committee for a batch of pilgrims headed for the Haj.
At these camps, the effort is to create awareness on the preventive aspects of cancer, to educate the people about the early warning signs of cancer, to remove the fear attached to cancer and to examine all the patients for cancer. Often during the camps, there are also programmes for the local doctors and para-medical staff.
More than 2,50,000 people in the high-risk population have been examined at these camps. Those who were reported positive for malignancy and were operable were offered free treatment. The ICF team of doctors has so far performed more than 2,927 free, major and minor cancer operations till 30.06.2016.
A positive development since the year 2000 has been the organization of surgical camps at district hospitals, made possible by the admirable support of the respective district administrations. Select surgeries are performed at the district hospitals.This serves a dual purpose; we are able to offer treatment to patients who may be too poor to even afford a journey to Indore. The other is that we are able to demonstrate cancer surgery to the doctors of the district/rural/peripheral areas. Thus, demonstrating that with training, quite a few of the cancer surgeries are possible within the district hospital set-up. Capability enhancement at this level would mean detection and treatment of cancer at earlier stages. It would also reduce the financial cost of treatment as well as the burden on the hospital infrastructure in the urban areas.
Thus far, surgical camps have been held in Jhabua (2), Badwani, Sehore (3), Jabalpur, Narsinghpur, Shivpuri (2), Guna, Panna, Balaghat, Dewas, Ratlam (2), Raisen (2), Harda, Ramganj Mandi – Rajasthan, Kota – Rajasthan, Ujjain (3), Vidisha, Chhindwara (3), Amravati – Maharashtra, Bhopal, Indore and Narmadapuram.
The cancer screening programme in Rewa division in 2013 is an example of a successful, sustained cancer out reach programme organised over the last few years. The same year, the Madhya Pradesh IAS Officers’ Wives Association organised a cancer awareness and detection camp in Kala Pipal.