Taking inspiration from the women health camps conducted by VT Seva’s sister organization in India – Vikasa Tarangini Mahila Arogya Vikas for past decade impacting close to a million women through 900 camps for free, a Government Order (G.O) is getting issued by Telangana State Minister of Labour, Employment,Women and Child Development Mr. Malla Reddy on 3rd June 2019, Monday, 10 AM in Sriramnagar (Muchintal, Shamshabad) in presence of the VT women health camp visionary and humanitarian Sri Chinna Jeeyar Swamiji, Government Secretaries and honorable officers. This Government Order (GO) will enable Vikasa Tarangini Mahila Arogya Vikas, Telangana State Government, Women and Child Welfare Ministry to collaborate and conduct health camps all over the state of Telangana, multiplying the positive impact of saving lives.

All the VT leaders and volunteers of VT Mahila Arogya Vikas are invited to this great milestone. It is a proud moment for VT Seva as we have been supporting close to 100 women health camps every year and have recently sponsored Mobile Diagnostic bus to aid our camps.

Challenge

If the women are healthy then the whole family will be safe and the society will flourish. In India, one in ten cancer related deaths are cervical, we want to identify these in early stages and improve chances of survival and give women a second chance to lead happy life. In India, out of all the cancer diagnoses, 22.86 percent are cervical cancer cases. Rural women are at higher risk for undetected cervical cancer because of the stigma that is prevalent in villages about seeking medical help concerning women’s health.

Objectives

  • Early detection of cervical cancer among women who are marginalized because of poverty.
  • Providing required assistance to direct detected cancer cases for further medical or surgical procedures.
  • Awareness programs about women’s health and wellness.
  • Education programs to self-identify signs and symptoms for different types of cancers.

Approach

Step-1: We start with door-to-door canvasing to bring awareness on health, hygiene, during interactions, we will make sure not to use “Cancer” as people tend to shy away and get scared to divulge personal details. During the survey process, our volunteers assess the health of the person and advise them to attend a FREE Medical camp going to be conducted nearby their residence. Duration of the survey depends on the number of families living in that neighborhood, it may take a week to complete the Survey. We schedule the surveys in such a time that, women are available to talk and open-up to answer questions about their personal health conditions. By the end of this step, we have good understanding of how many women should undergo screening and how we should get ready for the Medical Camp.

Approach

Step-2: Our team of volunteers include Doctors; Para medical staff and support staff. Often we partner with local doctors, pharmacies to augment our volunteers. We have a defined methodology in conducting the camp. Women, that participated in survey (Step-1) bring their registration sheets, basic examination is followed by colposcopy and VIA tests; Women are shown reports then and their using monitors. Consultation and medicines are provided as required. We handhold them throughout the process– including further diagnosis if required.

Beneficiaries

In India, out of all the cancer diagnoses, 22.86 percent are cervical cancer cases. Rural women are at higher risk for undetected cervical cancer because of the stigma that is prevalent in villages about seeking medical help concerning women’s health. Many women lack awareness about regular checkup and menstrual hygiene. As many of them are illiterate, what they see what they believe. That is why, using digital colposcope customized by our organization, we show them the cervix on a monitor while performing the cervical examination.

Unique experience and expertise makes us best positioned to meet the objective. We have started this project in 2007, we have raised awareness to 886,908 people, conducted 897 women health camps successfully, i.e. close to 70 camps every year. On average, each survey brings awareness to 1000 women and each camp screens 150 women. 217,503 women have taken Cervical Cancer screening tests (with Colposcope) since then and 6202 had biopsy tests. 483 women were survived with early detection of Cervical Cancer and 215 with breast surgeries; This has brought change in lives of thousands of families. Majority of them are below the poverty line. It gives immense satisfaction when they speak about their recovery. We have documented case studies of many beneficiaries and testimonials are available on our website in form of videos and reports.

Our Team and Collaboration

Our team of volunteers include Doctors; Para medical staff and support staff. Often we partner with local doctors, pharmacies to augment our volunteers. We collaborate with “Anganwadi workers” to conduct survey and medical camp in their area. Indian Government has developed an Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme in 1975 to curb the high infant and maternal mortality, under this scheme a trained person is allotted for every 1000 people, This Anganwadi person is responsible for bridging the gap between individuals and organized Health care. There are 2 Million Anganwadi workers who has access to 70 Million India population that need either one or the other type of medical support. These are most important and often ignored essential ink of Indian Health Care. We leverage them to the core and support them in improving their area. They play very active role in taking us to the people. Going with them gives confidence for the people of that area to share their health problems openly. We also collaborate with local leaders who has through understanding of their community who need health services.

We collaborate with Govt and Private Doctors to support us during camps; We involve local pharma drug stores to secure medicines and clinical equipment. We work with corporates, Multi-National companies, some business units, project teams participate in conducting camps as part of their outreach / CSR activities.

Summary

In summary, we reaching the masses is the key, if you don’t reach them they don’t bother to take care of themselves; If we don’t address it in early stages we reduce chances of survival rate; Detecting and addressing the problems early will make more families happy and makes whole society happy. Contributing to a happy society is what we want to achieve. This is where our organization plays key role in using digital colposcopes and customizing them for clear examination of cervix and detecting abnormal conditions in early stages.

Join US

VT Seva conducts annual Cancer Awareness Walkathons/Runs throughout US to support local communities and also to raise funds for sponsoring an average of 100 women health camps in India per year, mobile diagnostic bus, procuring medical equipment such as digital colposcopes and medicines. We have great support from local communities in US where thousands of people, especially youngsters, oncologists, socially responsible corporations such as NVidia, LinkedIn, Boston Scientific, PayPal in enabling us to save lives.

You can sponsor a camp by clicking here. With a donation of $500, you can organize a camp in your village or town. Depending on the number of people attending camp, medicines required and number of staff engaged, the camp may cost $1000 or more.