1 ECHO clinic running across Cancer Screening, Prevention and Treatment
There is an estimated burden of over 1 million individuals who were diagnosed with cancer in India in 2012. The three most commonly occurring cancers in India are breast, uterine cervix and oral cancers, together accounting for one third of India’s cancer burden. All three are usually detectable at early stages and malignancies of the oral cavity and cervix have precancerous stages that are amenable to secondary prevention. Therefore, screening and early detection of these three cancers will help to markedly reduce the cancer burden in India.
NICPR ECHO empowers health care providers to update knowledge and skills in cancer prevention. This entails incorporating cancer screening programs using the ECHO modelTM to improve capacity and access to specialty care for rural and underserved populations.
The mission of NICPR ECHO is to build capacity in cancer screening services among health care providers. This will empower them to carry out screening independently thereby enabling their services to be accessible to every eligible citizen in India.
NICPR in collaboration with Karuna Trust carried out a pilot project at the primary health center (PHC) in Gumballi, a tribal village in Karnataka using the ECHO model. This project helped empower the community health workers (ASHA workers and ANMs) at the PHC to conduct cancer screening of the population covered by the PHC.
After a successful pilot program, NICPR now organizes the cancer screening training by following modes:
Initial face-to-face 4-days of intensive training to the health care providers on cancer screening tests, allowing for hands-on training and practice of skills.
Subsequently, fortnightly, teleECHO clinics are being conducted to include reiteration of the training, discussing patient cases, resource sharing and expert presentations.