Cancer Mukta AAI – A Noble and One-Of-A-Kind Initiative
"Cancer Mukta Aai" (Cancer Free Mother) is a female health empowerment program run by Mumbai Oncocare Centre with a concrete social vision in mind. It is a unique and longest-standing initiative that is run consecutively for 3 years by MOC Cancer Care Foundation in association with Manavata Foundation in a small place near Nasik, called Shirdi. We are slowly expanding our reach to the outskirts of Shirdi and nearby districts in Maharashtra. The objective of this noble initiative is to raise cancer awareness among the rural Indian women and society at large in an altruistic way for the early diagnosis, treatment, cure & high-quality public education on cancer.
We strongly believe that health education and motivating females to reach out to doctors for their health-related issues/queries is an important dimension of all-round woman empowerment. Females in India, especially those from tier 2 cities and rural regions are often deprived of health education. Identification of early symptoms of cancer or any disease for that matter becomes a forbidden fruit in this case. Simply put, "What They Don't Know Can't Be Identified"! On many occasions, such symptoms are self-treated with homemade remedies without knowing the potential threat it can pose them.
Major awareness drives by private players do not easily cross the boundaries of cities and rarely reach towns and villages. Government health awareness programs do their bit but, definitely not frequently and not enough to cover the entire population. Good primary care hospitals and good diagnostic centers in such regions are scarce and it adds to the severity of the situation. Many of the families in rural India fall in economically backward social class because of which their fundamental needs like health care on many occasions is in a compromised state. Not four but plenty-four of such factors are hindrances to early diagnosis of a critical illness like cancer, leave aside offering a good treatment to them. It is also a pervasive fact that the cost of treatment increases to worse in late stages of diagnosis of any disease, including cancer and treatment outcomes scale down to non-satisfactory.
'Cancer Mukta Aai' is a primary solution to all these problems where we promote regional, mass cancer awareness so that that underprivileged section of society in terms of health education and facilities get to know about early symptoms of cancer and importance of early diagnosis. Slowly, Our efforts are metamorphosing these social strata to a different state of mind where they observe and come forward to report their abnormal body changes; which for years they were hiding in ignorance or fear of expenses and consequences. We have come across many patients who were very prompt to respond to their symptoms of cancer and leading a disease-free life today after treatment.
This initiative has received an overwhelming response from rural females. At 'Cancer Mukta Aai' forum we try to address cancer-related and other female-health related queries and questions through artificial & artistic demonstrations to the conviction of the audience, This makes them extra conscious about abnormal changes and cancer-related symptoms in their own body. We have reached out to more than 8000 people in the last 1 year through this mass cancer awareness drive and we wish to cover as many as possible in the future.
Dr. Pradip Kendre
Director and Consultant Medical Oncologist
Mumbai Oncocare Centre, Mira Road
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