Programme to create awareness on cancer

Programme to create awareness on cancer

The Health Department is coming up with a programme to enhance awareness on different kinds of cancers at grassroots level. Asha and anganwadi workers would be trained for the purpose.

District Surveillance Officer (DSO) Dr Vasudeva told Deccan Herald that the government has declared cancer prevention as a priority project and has initiated a planning process that would culminate in the transformation of the National Cancer Control Programme into a national agency. Accordingly, cancer is a component under National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke (NPCDCS), he added.

The department has tied up with Yenepoya Hospital, Mangaluru, to get resource persons and awareness materials. The project is being designed to cover Dakshina Kannada, Kodagu and Udupi districts. However, Udupi would be covered under the pilot project in the first phase.Intensive training would imparted to Asha and anganwadi workers for the implementation of the programme.

Head of the Department of Yenepoya Hospital Community Medicine Dr Abhay Nirgude said 50 sessions would be organised with 50 each in single batch. The 50 members (Asha and anganwadi workers) would be split into smaller groups for rigorous training.  The training centres would be Community Health Centres (CHCs) spread across the district.

The DSO said the training session would begin in August with focus on early diagnosis, besides offering them details on the risk factors, screening tests, treatments modules and available social security schemes for financial assistance. The same messages would be delivered to people during the awareness programme by Asha and anganwadi workers. The number of deaths due to breast, cervical and oral cancer are more. Awareness would be created on self-diagnosis frequently, he added.

Dr Vasudeva said the district administration would spend Rs 2 lakh on training sessions. There are 1,900 Asha and anganwadi workers in the district. Among them, 1,146 are anganwadi and 754 are Asha workers, he stated.

He said Asha and anganwadi workers are expected to work for four hours per day and four days per week to create awareness on national health programmes. Cancer awareness would be one among them. They would visit houses to create awareness. Each Asha or anganwadi worker would aim at reaching out to 1,000 population, he added.

The DSO said Asha and anganwadi workers would be given a CD and pamphlets after the completion of the training session. The CDs would be in Konkani, Tulu, Kannada, Malayalam, Beary and Kodava languages and emphasise on the dreadfulness of the disease and the effect of delay in diagnosis and treatment. They spread a message that early intervention would ensure early recovery, he added.

The training session would include a participatory programme, powerpoint presentations, interactions and a question and answer session to clarify doubts. The project aims at sophisticated and intricate training design as Asha and anganwadi workers would be involved directly in the awareness programme, he added.

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