AstraZeneca India extends its Ganga Godavari Cancer Screening Programme for women in low-income commun ities in Tamil Nadu
Chennai, June 22, 2022: AstraZeneca India Private Limited, the services arm of AstraZeneca, a leading science-led biopharmaceutical company, today announced the expansion of its flagship CSR initiative- Ganga Godavari Cancer Screening Programme to Tamil Nadu in collaboration with its partner Udhavum Ullangal, a public charita ble trust.To flag-off the initiative in the state, first screening camp was organised in Tirunelveli in the presence of key dignitaries including Mr Vishnu IAS, District Collector, Dr Ravichandran -Dean, Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital, Mr. Ramkumar, Director NCCC, along with few cancer survivors.
This project initiative is aimed at enabling early detection of oral, breast and cervical cancer especially in women from poor below poverty, under-resourced communities across the country. Alongside, it is focused on creating awareness about cancer at large and its symptoms that could possibly trigger early detection leading to timely treatment. Highlighting the need of such an initiative, Gagandeep Singh, Country President AstraZeneca India said, “Ganga Godavari Cancer Screening programme is a mission to bring down the burden of cancer by building large scale awareness and encouraging detection in early stages. If you analyse the cancer burden in the country, you will find that the incidence of cancer amongst women is more than what is in men. This means that somewhe re there is a gap in reaching out to women and educating them about the disease and how it can be manged well if caught early. With this initiative, we are working to not just detect but also encourage due medical interventi on amongst patients and counselling amongst people at risk”.
In the state of Tamil Nadu, a series of camps (close to 300) are pla nned to conduct cancer screening for 9000 be neficiaries and crea te cancer awareness for 30,000 people from Tirunelveli and surr ounding districts. Talking about its expansion to the state, Siva Pad manabhan, Managing Director, AstraZeneca India Private Limited (AZ IPL) said, “The initiative has seen tremendous acceptance and success in the past 3 years across multiple states and we are glad to bring this to Tamil Nadu with Udhavum Ullangal. With this init iative, we aim to reach low-income communities of the state where access to healthcare is a serious constraint and impacts the quality of life. We are constantly working towards a future where everyone has access to kn owledge on disease-preven tion, quality healthcare and solutions for treatment”.
The initiative was first launched in the year 2019 and has covered multiple states in its previous phases including Maharashtra, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh etc. Despite multiple lockdowns during COVID-19 in the past two years, the programme has touched more than 6000 women and found about 200 positive suspects who have been referred to the partner hospitals for further tests and treatment.
Mr.Shankar Mahadevan Founder Trustee of Udhavum Ullangal, said, “We are happy to be associated with AstraZ eneca for the Ganga Godavari cancer screening programme. The key aspect that is important to make a sustai nable impact through such initiatives is focus on strengthening and activation of community systems, continuo us counselling at community level to support women in overcoming social barriers and collaboration with local organizations and medical institutes. Though this is a challenge, we can help in targeting the popula tion that have limitations to access and afford healthcare and ensure that they are part of this programme. The programm e helps in creating awareness through health education in the community and robust follow up to ensure referra l for treatment.”
Mr Vishnu IAS, District Collector said, “Cancer accounts for about 9.3 mn deaths due to NCDs globally. In India too, the burden of NCDs is much higher than what is seen from infectious diseases except for what we have witn esses due to coronavirus in the past two years. But we parallelly and collectively need to focus on bringing down the burden of NCDs in the country as it poses a bigger threat in the years to come. Under the NPCDCS program me, the state has created a robust framework to methodically build community level awareness on health issues such as Cancer. An initiative such as Ganga Godavari will surely complement the efforts of the government and we hope to see more and more organisations join hands towards this national objective of tackling non-commu nicable diseases better”. He also shared that the District administration will extend all support for this need-ba sed project.
About AstraZeneca India Private Limited
AstraZeneca India Pvt. Ltd. (AZIPL) is the services arm for AstraZeneca with offices in Chennai and Bengaluru. Th e entity has close to 3000 employees catering to services including IT services, Global Business Services (GB S) and R&D Oncology among others. It plays a key role in technology innovation and transformation projects e nabling and empowering AstraZeneca’s core business processes – from Discovery, Development, Production, Launches to Supply all the way through the value chain. www.astrazeneca.com/india
AstraZeneca is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases across our main disease ar eas: Oncology; BioPharmaceuticals (including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immuno logy); and Rare Disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.