Bengaluru: Soroptimist International, Whitefield organized a medical camp at Kakalachinthe village situated about 48 km from city. Over 125 people including men, women and children benefitted from well-organisedthe camp. A team of seven doctors, nurses and other staff members from the Bangalore Baptist Hospital helped out in the camp testing blood, examining the patients and distributing medicines.
People also came to the camp from neighbouring villages. Headmaster of local government school, Gajendra and students assisted in the camp in different ways. Various other local leaders rendered support to the camp which is second conducted in the area with doctors of all departments. In the earlier camp, the needy were given spectacles free of cost. Both camps were sponsored and supported by other institutions, organizations like Soroptimist International and individuals such as Tefilah, Mr George Santhosh, Anand Naidu, Jayaraju among others.
The medical camp began with a brief function in which doctors and organizers were introduced and welcomed with bouquets.
The unique medical camp included MOM Express, a mobile mammography unit which was to provide screening for early detection of breast cancer in women of Karnataka. Mom Express is a step toward empowering women against cancer. Members at MOM Express are a group of determined and dedicatedindividuals working for the health and welfare of women, said Poornima Sudhindra, Managing Trustee of PoornaSudha Cancer Foundation.
MOM Express is a project of this Foundation which is a non-profit, charitable organization working toward early detection of cancer. They offer screenings for breast, cervical and oral cancers. The Foundation’s goals are to raise awareness of breast cancer through education, to offer easy accessibility to mammography, to provide free screenings for BPL patients and to empower women through early detection and education to conquer breast cancer.
MOM Express provides unique advantages to the women who are at risk for breast cancer in India as the Foundation offers strong community outreach efforts and breast cancer education, screenings by trained female technicians and counseling for further evaluation and treatment for patients with abnormal mammograms.
According to SMAJ, breast cancer is on the increase in India. Research predicts a 3% increase every year. MsSudhindra said breast cancer is the leading cancer among women in India, accounting for up to 35% of all cancers in women and is responsible for most cancer-related deaths among women of 35 to 54 years of age. Further she informed 76% of cases currently diagnosed are in the advanced stages – which can rarely be treated successfully, according to Cancer Institute of Chennai.
It is also found 80% women who should have an annual mammography exam do not because they are unable to find a conveniently located facility, it takes too much time to arrange and travel to appointments, it may be difficult to take about two hours off from work and little to no awareness and education available to women about breast cancer.
The MOM Express mobile unit is dedicated to engage, educate and motivate women to participate in cancer risk reduction using early detection strategies. Screenings are performed by all-female, trained technicians and results are read by trained physicians.
The Foundation says, “We do not know how to prevent breast cancer, but at MOM Express we can help you to find it early when the chance for successful treatment is greatest.”
The Rotary Club funded 27 lakh for the well-equipped, self-contained bus with AC and generator for power. The rest of the huge amount for particularly designed bus was from individual contributions. For the on-going programmes, all the organizational expenses at Poornasudha Cancer Foundation are supported by the generous contribution from individual donors. Are the affluent and filthy rich take away all what they have (when they die), if not willing to help the needy and the poor?,wonders Poornima.
Soroptimist International (SI), Bangalore which was behind the camp stands for ‘Women inspiring action, transforming lives’. SI’s motto is ‘Together We Bring Hope’. Matilda Mathias, an active member of SI, speaking about the organization said Soroptimists inspire action and create opportunities to transform the lives of women and girls through a global network of members and international partnerships. Programme Action is divided into sections such as Economic Environment, Food Security and Health Care, Learning Opportunities, Environmental Sustainability and Violence & Conflict Resolution. The 14 SI Clubs in India, members of the national association of Soroptimist International (NASI) of India, are affiliated to the Federation of Great Britain and Ireland (SIGBI) Limited, which enjoys special consultative status with the ECOSOC, is affiliated to the UN and has representatives on several agencies and organs of the UN such as WHO, FAO, NNIFEM, UNICEF, UN women among others.
The project of SI includes health awareness programmes and health camps (Cancer Screening Camp, Total Health Camp, Stoma Bags for cancer patients and Swanthana (collection of rice, pulses and other grains besides clothes).
Observance of UN International days (Violence against women), Women’s Day and Family Day (World Women’s Day, March 8, World Family Day, May 15, World Environment Day – June 5, World Literacy Day – September 8 and World Peace Day – Sept 21 and many other useful programmes.
The patients, students and all others who came to the camp were provided with meals. The local police were also present to ensure smooth conduct of the camp, though it was done in a disciplined and systematic manner. Some reached the camp too late to be disappointed as the camp came to a close towards evening. Those came for the tests and checkup long to return for the next camp. The simple village folk were heard appreciating the ‘meaningful’ medical camp and hoped it will be set up again at short intervals.