Rani Desai, Head Strategy and Operations, Biocon Foundation
Dr. Praveen Birur, Lead for the oral cancer screening program, Consultant at Biocon Foundation
Challenge: Globally, India accounts for the highest number of Oral Cancer cases, with the government recording a staggering 80,000 cases every year across the country. Data from Million Death Study shows that cancer of oral cavity including lip and pharynx is one of the most fatal cancers in males which accounts for 35% of total cancer death.Oral Cancer is primarily caused by use of tobacco and its products which are common practices in rural India. Oral Cancer is preventable. But often there is a delay in diagnosis due to lack of awareness, social barriers to seek help, inadequate diagnostic services.
Innovation: Launched in 2006, Biocon Foundation brings effective primary healthcare services to the doorstep of less privileged rural and urban sectors of India. By establishing primary healthcare centres, actively creating awareness about disease prevention, public health and sanitation, building civic infrastructure and initiating education programs, the foundation aims to empower under-served communities. The mobile phone based management platform for cancer screening and surveillance with technologies like Poi mapper for data capturing and open MRS for data storage enables the creation of electronic health records and facilitates targeted screening.