A mobile van is providing vital healthcare to women on the road, across the city. Dr CB Koppikar, a city oncologist is carrying out the facility of doing mammography while being on wheels. The van is run by Prashanti Cancer Care Mission and is operated by Orchids Clinic.
A camp near the van
Started two years ago, the van has done more than 30 to 40 camps till now, in and around Pune. Usually, a group of at least 30 women come together and call for the van. The mammography is done for all women at a very nominal charge of Rs 300-Rs 500. Dr Koppikar shares, “Till now almost 70% of our camps have been free for the women as we try to find sponsors for the camp and if there is any person who cannot afford to pay, we do it free of cost.”
Several women participate in the camp and get the free healthcare services
Camps are held in the city as well as nearby places like Ratnagiri, and Ranjangaon. The van’s cost is around Rs 80 lakh to a crore and its maintenance is almost one-and-a-half to two lakhs per month with the staff and equipments. It is also equipped with certain other procedures like biopsy and there is an examination room for check-ups.
Dr CB Koppikar
It is like women’s clinic on wheels. “I feel that it is highly beneficial for women who are unable to visit clinics and thus, can get the procedure done instantaneously. Nurses in the van also examine the women and if they find any lump, they direct the women to the hospital. Paramedics and even few technicians can read the mammograph and also direct the women to
hospitals for further consultation and treatment,” says Dr Koppikar.
In India, women in the age group of 35 to 50 years are prone to the risk of breast cancer. The survival rate is 30% while in the Western world the survival rate is 90%. Though adopting a healthy lifestyle and an exercising regime can help prevent this disease, such measures are invaluable.
When mammography first came to be known, it was done in European countries on beaches. Doctors used to go in a van on the beaches and request the women to get tested. This is how the Prashanti Cancer Care Mission got the idea of the van. Dr Koppikar also shares, “We are tying up with Rotary Club and other groups so that more women can get free benefits.
If anyone wants to call us in the city, they can call on the landline and collect a minimum of 30 women for whom we can conduct the mammography. After the results are ready we go back to the camp place and then select the women who are found positive and take them to the nearest hospital and get their ultrasound done if needed.”
At: Prashanti Cancer Care Mission, flat No 1 & 2, Kapil Vastu, Senapati Bapat Road.