On World Cancer Day, the government of India will be flagging off a new initiative where officials and members of the medical community will be going door to door to many homes in the country and conducting free cancer screenings.
The initiative will also come with free tests to check if those who live in those homes have diabetes or not. The program will be kick-started on February 4 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government is initiating the program on a massive scale and wants to cover a third of India’s population by the end of 2017.
Speaking to the Times of India, an official said, “We are aiming to cover 200 districts across the country by 2018. At a later stage, we will also add testing for asthma under the program.”
The goal is not only to reach the largest portion of the population, but to also reach a specific age group between 30 to 69 years as this is the age bracket with a higher chance of getting cancer or diabetes.
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In time, the government will be adding more screenings and tests, including for asthma. The centre will be training doctors, nurses and medical professionals to help conduct these tests correctly and will also be outfitting them with the required equipment. They will also be given resources to set up testing camps in various districts across the country in order to collect samples.
The states have already been given guidelines by the centre to ensure the programme is carried out successfully. As of right now, the government has tentatively announced that it will be spending Rs 250 crores on the initiative but will ramp that up as and when required.
ASHA Foundation is one the organisations that will be trained under this program. They can be contacted here